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purchased for tbe Xfbrarp of tbe 

Tflniversitp of (Toronto 
out of tbe proceeos of tbe funo 

bequeatbeo bp 
B. ipbillips Stewart, B.H., 

OB. A.D. 1892. 
















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ALTHOUGH my name appears as that of one of the authors, 
my share in this book has consisted mainly in the collection 
of materials to be put into their present shape by my cousin, 
whose name stands first on the title-page. In the collection 
of these materials I have received invaluable aid from 
my wife. 

September 1911. 











APPENDICES . . . . 175 

INDEX ...... . 215 


MRS. THOMAS KNIGHT Frontispiece 

From a Painting by George Rornney 


RICHARD KNIGHT, 1665-1687 ,, 122 

CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT, 1670-1702 ,, 122 

ELIZABETH KNIGHT, 1674-1737 , 126 


From a Miniature by Samuel Cooper 

THOMAS KNIGHT, 1701-1781 , 142 

From a Painting by D'Algh 

MRS. THOMAS KNIGHT (JANE MONKE), 1710-1765 . ,, 145 

From a Painting by D'Algh 

THOMAS KNIGHT, 1735-1794 ,, 149 

From a Painting by George Romney 


From a Miniature by Richard Cosway 

EDWARD KNIGHT, 1768-1852 160 

From a Miniature by Sir William Ross 


EDWARD KNIGHT, 1794-1879 ......,, 172 

From a Painting by Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A. 







SOUTH STAIRCASE ......... 82 












PROBABLE PLAN OF HOUSE IN 1580 . . . . . 80 












1813 169 







T is told of a celebrated historian who flourished 
in the Victorian age more celebrated, perhaps, 
for picturesque statement than for patient 
investigation that he was once turned loose 
in the library of an old house particularly rich in manuscripts 
dating from the period with which his work was specially 



identified. Between each bookcase round the walls of the 
room were carved oak pilasters. The historian was directed to 
one of these pilasters, the front of which opened and disclosed 
a rich treasure of documents bearing on his studies. These 
he examined with some care ; but when he was told that the 
cupboard behind this pilaster was only a specimen of what was 
to be found behind every pilaster in the room, his heart failed 
him, and he declined to carry his researches further. It is 
possible that the future historians of England those especially 
who are occupied in describing the social and economic con- 
ditions of the country will find themselves in a like manner 
overburdened with the information provided, whether in manu- 
script or in print, by the numerous family chronicles of the 
present date. But, after all, nothing can be so useful, either 
for imparting valuable information or for correcting hasty 
theories, as accounts which give typical instances of individual 
villages and families. We need not, therefore, scruple to add 
our small mite to the store which is growing on all sides ; 
for among the typical instances to which we have alluded 
Chawton can fairly claim an honourable position. The 
beauty of the situation, the venerable age of the Manor 
House, the old-world character of the village, and its 
literary associations ; the fact that the property (though it 
has been owned by members of several families) has only 
once since the Norman Conquest changed hands by way 
of sale and purchase all these advantages give the place a 
peculiar title to be considered as a specimen south English 



Our plan is to give in our first chapter a brief resume of 
the history of Chawton and its various owners, and afterwards 
to descend into particulars, grouping them under the follow- 
ing headings : (i) Manor, (2) Church, (3) Manor House and 
Families of Owners. 

Chawton may be said to be in the valley of the Thames, 
as it is placed on rising ground near the sources of the Wey. 
The form of the place-name in Domesday Book, ' Celtone,' 
makes it improbable that it has anything to do with the chalk 
which, mixed with clay, brick-earth, and gravel, abounds in 
the parish. At one end the Manor runs into the immediate 
neighbourhood of the green sand; while, for timber, the 
whole area is rich in beeches, oaks, and elms. The village 
stands about one and a half miles distant from the town 
of Alton, at the point where the main roads leading 
respectively to Winchester and to Gosport separate. Just 
on the junction stands the small house where Jane 
Austen passed the last eight years of her short life. At 
the further end of the village, on the Gosport road, stand 
the Rectory on the right hand and the Church on the 
left, and, on the rising ground behind the Church, the 
old Manor House. Behind the house rise still further 
the garden and shrubberies, and at the summit of the hill 
a terrace commands a view over the Church to the high 
beech woods on the western limit of the parish, known as 
Chawton Park. The place is not far from the great world, 
and there are several residences of some size in the 
village; but the verdure, the luxuriance of timber, and 


B 2 


the absence of any buildings obviously new, give to the 
casual visitor the idea of a home deep in the country, and 
the impression is strengthened by a longer stay. There is 
no reason to doubt the continuance of the conditions 
which produce this impression, if only travellers to Alton 
will possess their souls in patience, and abstain from en- 
deavouring to induce the London and South- Western Railway 
to increase the very moderate speed of their trains on 
that branch. 

There are several curious analogies between the history 
of Chawton and that of another old place in the North of 
Hampshire, viz. the Vyne, near Basingstoke. The late owner 
of the Vyne, Chaloner Chute, in his interesting history of 
the property, 1 tells us that it was one of seventy lordships 
(fifty-five being in Hampshire) which were given by William 
the Conqueror to Hugh de Port. Chawton was another 
of the fifty-five. Less than two centuries later we find 
it in the hands of Robert de St. John (the de Ports 
having taken the name of St. John on their intermarriage 
with that family), and it is then stated that the rights 
of free warren, assize of bread, &c., had been in the 
hands of St. John's ancestors 'from all time.' But there 
were many branches of the St. John family, and the 
Vyne and Chawton fell into the hands of different offshoots : 
the Vyne, in succession, to the families of Cowdray and 
Sandys ; Chawton to those of Poynings, Bonville, and 


1 A History of the Vyne in Hampshire, by Chaloner W. Chute of the Vyne. 
Winchester and London, 1888. 


West. In the middle of the sixteenth century the Wests 
first leased and then sold the property to the Knights, 
this transaction constituting the one sale of the land which 
has occurred since the Conquest. At the Vyne the single 
instance in which land and mansion passed by sale occurred 
in the next century, when the Sandys family, crippled by 
their losses in the Civil War, found themselves obliged to 
part with the place, and it became the property of Chaloner 
Chute, who was Speaker of Richard Cromwell's short par- 
liament. Since these dates the Vyne and Chawton have 
always been in the hands of Chutes and Knights 
respectively, though in both cases the name has more 
than once been assumed with the possession of the lands by 
female or collateral branches. It is interesting to trace a 
similarity of fate between two old Hampshire houses, 
connected as they are by the old friendship and the modern 
relationship of the families who own them. 

We return to Chawton. The Knights seem to have been 
preparing themselves through many generations for their 
future position as squires, and to have held land in the parish 
at any rate since the time of Edward II. It is hardly probable 
that the St. Johns ever lived in the place, although an ' extent 
of the Manor ' in 1302 states that it consisted of a ' capital 
messuage with a garden and other easements of the Court 
worth ios.,' as well as about 500 acres of land. In the 
absence of the great folk it would be easier for a local 
family to assert itself ; and we find the Knights promi- 
nent in the earliest Court Rolls which have been preserved. 



In 1524 William Knight had a lease of the ' cite of the 
Manor place ' and farm of Chawton, with the West Park, 
for which he paid 25. This lease was renewed to ' John 
Knight the younger,' and afterwards (1551) the land 
included in it was sold to him. 

It was stated above that there has been only one sale of 
Chawton. This statement requires correction so far as 
the Manor and Advowson are concerned. These latter 
rights were sold in 1558 to Thomas Arundel, and his son 
sold them in turn to Nicholas Knight (son of John) in 
1578. The Knights were now fairly fixed in their new 
possession. Nicholas had a large family, and his eldest 
son John was in a position to carry on extensive building 
operations at the Manor House and its stables, his accounts 
for which are still in existence ; nor has the Mansion itself 
been much changed from the state in which he left it. 
There are many indications to show that he was building 
on to an old house for we know that an older moated 
house existed, and John Knight took a good deal of trouble 
to fill up the moat. We shall see later on how far it is 
possible to distinguish between the portions of the Manor 
House added by him and those which he found already in 

John Knight was evidently a man of some importance. 
In 1588 he contributed 50 to the funds raised by the Queen 
in connexion with the Spanish Invasion ; in 1609 he was 
High Sheriff of Hants. But his marriage does not seem 
to have been a happy one, and his only child (a daughter) 




predeceased him. His next brother, Stephen, had sons, 
the eldest of whom, another John, was looked upon as 
heir; and the following entries in John Knight's accounts 
show his care for his nephew : ' To Mr. Knight of Froyle 
for teaching and boarding John Knight for half a year. 
For gloves, stockings, shoes, and suit, hose, jerkin and 
doublett.' ' Mr. Starking for teaching John Knight for five 
weeks before and after he went to Bighton.' Stephen was 
a clerk in the Petty Bag Office, and an interesting cor- 
respondence between the two brothers is preserved ; some 
of it, however, too full of family allusions to be intelligible 
to the modern reader. 

The younger John became a lunatic some years after 
he grew up. He died young and unmarried, and was 
succeeded by his brother Richard. Richard died in 1641, 
leaving one little boy, and there was no one to represent the 
family actively when the Civil War broke out. They seem, 
however, to have been loyal to the King, for many payments 
to Basing House are recorded. Richard's son, another 
Richard, was knighted after the Restoration, and the re- 
cumbent marble effigy in the Church bears witness to his 
importance. But we are now reaching the end of the Knights 
in direct male descent. 

Sir Richard had no children, and devised his estate to 
the grandson of his aunt Dorothy, who had married 
Michael Martin of Ensham in Oxfordshire. This grandson, 
Richard (Martin) Knight, his brother Christopher, and 
his sister Elizabeth, were all owners in succession, the 



last named for much the longest period. She was 
also the most prominent figure of the three in our 
history; for fate directed that she should have the final 
disposition of the estate. 

She married twice ; both her husbands were men of 
station, both were members of parliament for Midhurst, 
and both had to take the name of Knight. Having 
no issue by either, she sought for an heir among her 
collateral kinsmen, and thus she was the last descendant 
of the original family of Knight who reigned at Chawton. 
Elizabeth and her first husband, William Woodward, repre- 
sented between them (on the female side) one branch of 
the ancient Sussex family of Lewkenors. The Lewkenors 
had intermarried with the Mays and the Mays with the 
Brodnaxes of Godmersham Park, near Canterbury. Eliza- 
beth found a successor in her cousin, Thomas Brodnax by 
birth, who had already changed his name to that of May. 
He united the properties of Godmersham and Chawton, and, 
like his predecessors at the latter place, took the name of 
Knight. It was during his tenure of the property that an 
important event occurred in the history of the estate and 
Manor of Chawton, viz. the enclosure of the common land, 
which was carried out in 1740-1. 

Thomas Brodnax's wife was a Monke, her mother was 
a Stringer, and her mother was an Austen, of Broadford 
Manor, Horsmonden. This lady's great-nephew, George 
Austen, Rector of Steventon and Deane, was therefore 
second cousin to Brodnax. Brodnax's son Thomas and his 



wife, Catherine Knatchbull by birth (whose beautiful portraits 
by Romney now adorn the dining-room at Chawton), were 
childless, and when they were casting about for a successor 
their thoughts fell upon George Austen and his family. They 
were not very near cousins, but George was a man of some 
mark, and his family seemed likely to do well in the world. 
So the tradition tells us that an invitation was dispatched 
from Mr. and Mrs. Knight to the George Austens, asking 
them to allow their son Edward to spend the summer 
holidays with them. It is said that the father hesitated for 
fear of the unsettlement of the boy's work, but that the 

.y //', X".- >t'.-/f y />/. ','. ... .v, A- / . ". 

.'tn'off,^ ft.,/.-/ .: / ff ' //'''*///. 

>'',<' 2 is.- '. ,,-/' /;. . . .- '" /yyd 


mother (Cassandra Leigh by birth, a woman of great liveli- 
ness and acuteness) clinched the matter by saying, ' Let the 
child go.' The child went, and was eventually adopted by 
his kind cousins, and became Mr. Knight of Godmersham 
and Chawton. 

The children of George Austen made up a remarkable 
family. Both of Edward's two clergymen brothers were 
men of more than usual ability, and two other brothers 
rose to be admirals : one of them to be Admiral of the 



Fleet. Of their younger sister, Jane, we need say nothing 
more than that she was Jane Austen ; of the elder, 
Cassandra, we need only say that Jane Austen, like Christina 
Rossetti, loved to speak of her elder sister as of one wiser 
than herself. 

Among the family a bond of attachment of unusual 
strength existed. It was an especial pleasure to Edward 
and his brothers to be able to add to the comforts 
of their mother and sisters. All of them did this as far as 
they could ; but Edward's desire was as strong as that 
of the others and his resources were greater. He planted 
the ladies in a house in Chawton village, which he made 
comfortable for their reception, and often asked his mother 
if anything was wanting. Here Mrs. Austen, Cassandra, 
and Jane lived from 1809 onwards ; here the greater 
part of Jane's books were written, and the whole of 
them were prepared for publication ; and from this house 
she was taken in May 1817 in the vain hope that 
her life might be prolonged under the treatment of a 
Winchester doctor. 

Opposite to the house in which the ladies lived at Chawton 
(the position of which we have already described) is a small 
pond. This pond gave Jane Austen the opportunity of sug- 
gesting to a nephew that perhaps, after an unsuccessful 
attempt for a scholarship at Oxford, he would be ordered 
for a change of air to the sea, ' or to a house by the side of 
a very considerable pond.' 





Mrs. Austen continued to reside in ' the Cottage ' (as it was 
always called) until her death in 1827, an d Cassandra until hers 
in 1845. The Cottage then ceased to be used for family pur- 
poses ; and with this change in its destination our introductory 
sketch of the history of Chawton must be brought to an end. 


(Abraham and Isaac] 

C 2 






Hugh de Port. 
Henry de Port. 
John de Port. 

Adam de Port = Mabel de Aureval 

(Heiress of the St. Johns). 

William de St. John. 

Robert de St. John, ob. 1266. 


John de St. John, ob. 1301. 

John de St. John, ob. 1329. 

Hugh de St. John 
ob. 1337. 

= Mirabel. 
She= 2nd Thos. de Aspale. 

Edmund Margaret = John 

de St. John, de St. John. 
ob. 1347. ob. 1361. 


= Luke 

de St. Philibert. de St. John, 
ob. 1393. 

ob. 1385. 

John de St. John 
ob. s.p. 1361. 

Thomas Poynings, 
ob. 1428. 

Hugh Poynings, ob. 1426. 


Constance = John Paulet. Alice = ist John Orrell. Joan = Sir Thos. Bonville, 


2nd Sir Thos. 

John Bonville, 
nat. 1413, 
ob. 1494. 

ob. 1467. 

I I I 

Anne = Copleston. Florence = Sir Humphrey Elizabeth = Sir Thomas West, 

nat. 1472, 
ob. 1524. 


nat. 1473. 



L. La Warr, 
ob. 1554. 




(HAWTON was not altogether out of the world 
in medieval times. ' The King's Highway ' 
leading to Portsmouth and Gosport went straight 
through the village ; while from another side, 
in addition to a constant traffic between Winchester and 
London, the Canterbury Pilgrims on their way from Win- 
chester to Farnham must have crossed the parish. There 
were two ways of reaching Alton from Winchester, and 
it is uncertain which was most often used by the pilgrims ; 
but the old name of Pilgrim's Place, and possibly 
that of Pelham (which may quite easily have reached its 
present shape by way of false analogy from some word 
like ' pelerin '), seem to point to the road through Ropley 
and by Chawton Church and Manor House. By this route 
they would have joined the King's highway coming up 
from Portsmouth. Those who kept more to the left would 
have mounted to the high grass road which skirts the woods 
of Chawton Park. Possibly this road was avoided because 



of its danger. When they reached the summit, indeed, a sight 
of the gallows (which, however, in 1280 had tumbled down) 
might have reassured them with the thought that they were 
protected by the law ; nor would they have been frightened 
by the whipping-post which perhaps flanked the gallows. 
But a little further on the ' Pass of Alton ' might often 
have shown them how weak that law was. The district of 
Alton is known to have been for a very long period the 
resort of robbers, and the ' Passus de Alton,' which was 
the terror of quiet travellers, has been conjecturally placed 
in more than one part of this district. There is a spot in 
the parish of Bentley, and close to the forest of Alice 
Holt, to which the word ' Pass ' would not be inapplicable ; 
but it is more probable that the word is used in 
the sense of road or passage, as ordinarily applied at 
the present day. 

The abode of Adam Gurdon, who was disinherited and 
outlawed with other adherents of Simon, Earl of Leicester, 
has been described as a ' woody height in a valley near 
the road between the town of Alton and the Castle of 
Farnham.' This region was not disafforested until the 
end of Henry Ill's reign, and was a favourite ambush 
for outlaws, who there awaited the merchants and 
their train of sumpter horses travelling to or from 
Winchester. Even in the fourteenth century the warders 
of the great fair of St. Giles, held in that city, paid 
five mounted sergeants-at-arms to keep the Pass of Alton 
during the continuance of the fair, according to custom. In 

Lang] and 's 


Langland's poem of ' Piers Ploughman,' Peace is described as 
being robbed on his way to Winchester Fair : 

' Ye, thorugh the pass of Aultone 
Poverte myght passe 
Withouten peril of robbynge, 
For where poverte may paas, 
Peace followeth after.' 

There is a picturesque story of a personal encounter between 
Adam Gurdon and Prince Edward. The prince, we are told, 
' desirous of putting an end to the troubles which had so long 
harassed the Kingdom, pursued the arch-rebel into his fast- 
nesses ; attacked his camp ; leaped over the entrenchments, 
and singling out Gurdon, ran him down, wounded him, and 
took him prisoner. He raised the fallen veteran from the 
ground, he pardoned him, he admitted him into his confidence, 
and introduced him to the Queen, then lying at Guildford, 
that very evening. This unmerited and unexpected lenity 
melted the heart of the rugged Gurdon at once ; he became in 
an instant a loyal and useful subject, trusted and employed 
in matters of moment by Edward when King, and confided 
in till the day of his death.' l 

It will be seen that this account places the ' Pass of Alton ' 
on the Farnham side of the town, but we have authority in 
favour of the existence of a ' Pass of Alton ' in the Manor 
of Chawton. In a grant 2 by John de St. John in the I4th of 


1 These extracts are from the History of Alton by William Curtis (page 
19), who quotes various authorities. 

2 For the text of these grants see Appendix I. 


Edward II, the land affected is described as extending ' to- 
wards Mundchamesrude on the West ' and abutting ' on 
the highway by the Pass of Aultone on the North.' Again, 
in a grant of i_7th of Edward II, part of the land is described 
as lying ' next Le Paas between the land of the Chaplain of 
the Chapel of Chawton and the land of John le Knyght.' In 
the next reign l one of the parks of Chawton is said to be 
next (juxta) to the Pass of Alton. In 1605 the accounts 
of John Knight contain the following item : ' Payd more 
to John Trymmer for hedging at Parke agaynst the passe 
way uppon the dytche xx^.' An enclosure joining the 
old upper road, by Chawton Park, is still called ' Pease-way 
Close ' ; and a continuation of this road in Medstead parish 
is known as ' The Pace-way.' It is difficult to avoid the 
conclusion that there was a ' Pass of Alton ' in Chawton 
Parish. Perhaps there were two such passes ; or perhaps 
the whole of the route through Alton was thus described. 
Although it may be quite correct to say that the word 
' Pass ' is used in the sense of a ' road or passage,' it is 
likely that the depredators would as a matter of fact 
use a part of the road where the neighbourhood of a dense 
wood made concealment easy ; and such a place is to be 
found where the road descends from Chawton Park into 
the plain of Alton. 

Between the two roads, either of which may have been 
traversed by the pilgrims, lay the Common and common fields 
of Chawton, measuring over 600 acres. To the east of the 


1 Inq. p.m. 1329. 


lower road there were no doubt a small moated manor house 
and a small church. 

The principal contemporary indications that we have of 
the existence of a manor house at this period are (i) the fact 
that in 1224 the King directed that two oaks from Alice Holt 
Forest should be delivered to William de St. John towards 
making a house in his Manor of Chawton, and (2) the 
mention of a capital messuage (i.e. a manor house and 
adjoining home farm) in the 'Extent of the Manor' in 1302 
quoted below. In any case we shall find, when we come to the 
records of the sixteenth century and the building of the Manor 
House as it now stands by John Knight, that there is ample 
evidence for the existence of an earlier dwelling-house. 

The Manor of Chawton is briefly described in Domesday 
Book ; l and the following amplified translation will, we think, 
bring out the meaning of the somewhat elliptical phraseology 
of the return, and show how the various sentences of the 
entry are really answers to a set of questions propounded 
to the jurors for Neatham Hundred. 3 

i. Who held and who holds the manor ? 

Hugo de Port (lord of the barony of Basing) holds Chawton 
in demesne as parcel of his barony. Oda (de Wincestre) held 
it formerly of King Edward as an ' alod/ that is by right of 
inheritance and without paying any rent or service for it. 

2. At 

1 Vol. i. fol. 45b. 

- For this enlarged paraphrase of the entry in Domesday Book, and for 
other valuable suggestions on the subjects contained in this chapter, we are 
indebted to the kindness of Mr. W. J. Corbett, Fellow and Lecturer, King's 
College, Cambridge. 



2. At how many hides is the vill assessed ? 

Chawton was formerly assessed (for county rating pur- 
poses) at 10 hides, but King Edward reduced the assessment 
for army service (in the fyrd or national militia) and for 
danegeld to 4} hides. 

3. How many plough teams does the manor require ? 
Eight plough teams are required to till the arable in the 

common fields ; the lord has four plough teams in his demesne 
and the remainder are found by the tenantry. 

4. How many tenants are there ? 

There are 19 homesteads occupied by villeins (i.e. by 
tenants owing weekwork on the lord's demesne) and 8 cotlands 
occupied by bordars (i.e. cottagers owing lighter services). 
These villeins and bordars have enough livestock between 
them to furnish five plough teams. 

5. How many bondmen (servi) are there ? 

There are 6 bondmen attached to the hall, that is unfree 
labourers with no land and no livestock, who are regarded 
by the law as chattels belonging to the lord. 

6. How much several meadow belongs to the lord's demesne ? 
The lord has 6 acres of hay meadow in severalty. 

(N.B. The tenantry also had common or dole meadows, 
but the jury are not asked to say how much.) 

7. How much are the woodlands worth to the lord annually ? 
The woodlands furnish 50 swine yearly to the lord in 

pannage rents. 

(N.B. The tenantry had a customary right to feed swine 
in the woods, on payment to the lord of a fixed 



proportion of the herds sent into the woods as rent 
for the feeding rights.) 

8. What was and what is the Mai net annual value of the 
manor to the lord ? 

T.R.E. (that is in Oda's time), the annual value of the 

estate to the lord, so far as the jury can estimate it, was 

10 Ib. of silver. Afterwards, when King William granted it to 

Hugh, the estate was still worth the same amount. At the 

present time, however, the value has appreciated and the jury 

estimate it as worth 12 Ib. of silver yearly to Hugh de Port. 

(N.B. As the manor was in hand and not let to farm, 

the jury only estimate its value, and do not state a 

fixed rental value, or say whether the silver was to be 

weighed or counted by tale in silver pennies at 240 to 

the pound.) _ 

Hugh de Port's son, Henry, was a 

Baron of the Exchequer under Henry 

Beauclerc, and he was succeeded in his 

possession of the property by his son John, 

who lived at the Vyne T and founded and 

endowed the Chantry Chapel there in the DE PORT 

Barry of ax or and 

azure a 

reign of Henry II. John's son Adam having 
married Mabel, an heiress of the St. John family, their son 
William assumed the name of St. John in place of de Port. 
Camden in his ' Britannia ' as translated by Holland (p. 269), 
thus records this change of name and the subsequent connexion 
with the Poynings and Powlett families : ' When Adam de 


1 See History of the Vyne. 
D 2 


Portu Lord of Basing matched in marriage with the daughter 
and heire of Roger de Aurevall whose wife was likewise 
daughter and heire to the right noble 
House of Saint John, William his sonne, 
to doe honour unto that familie, assumed 
to him the surname of Saint John and 
they who lineally descended from him 
ST. JOHN have still reteined the same. But when 

Az. on a chief gu. two , ,..,, 

mullets or. Edmund Saint John departed out of this 

world without issue in King Edward the third his time his 
sister Margaret bettered the state of her husband John Saint 
Philibert with the possessions of the Lord Saint John ; and 
when shee was dead without children Isabell 
the other sister, wife unto Sir Luke Poinings, 
bare unto him Thomas Lord of Basing, 
whose neice l Constance by his sonne Hugh 
(unto whom this fell for her child's part 
of inheritance) was wedded into the familie 


of the Powlets.' It was therefore from the Bend y of six ar - and az - 
family of St. John and through that of Poynings that the 
Powletts became possessors of Basing. 

Our Pedigree will give a sufficient account of the successive 
owners of the St. John estates until the death of Edmund de 
St. John, mentioned above, brought the male line to an 
end, and the estates went to Edmund's two sisters. 
After the marriage of the second sister, Isabel, to Luke 
Poynings, her husband was summoned to Parliament as 


1 Granddaughter. 




Barry of six or and 
vert a bendlet gu. 

Baron St. John. Isabel died in 1393, leaving a son, 

Sir Thomas Poynings, styled Lord St. John. On the 

death of Sir Thomas in 1429 the family 

was represented by the three daughters 

of his son Hugh, who had predeceased him. 

In 1458 the respective sons of these 

three daughters, viz. John Bonville, John 

Powlett, and Thomas Kingestone, made 

a division of the property by Inden- 
ture Tripartite. In this division John 

Bonville took (with other manors and lands) the reversion, 
after the deaths of Godfrey Hylton and 
Alianora his wife, widow of Sir Hugh 
Poynings, of the Manor and advowson 
of Chawton and the free Chapel there, 
the patronage of the Priory of Selborne, 
and all lands in Chawton subject to an 
annual payment of 3 55. lod. out of 

Chawton to Thomas Kingestone. 

We have now brought down the suc- 
cession of owners to John Bonville, who 

died in 1494, leaving only daughters. The 

Manor and advowson of Chawton went in 

the first instance to the elder of these, 

Florence, who married (i) Sir Humphrey 

Fulford and (2) Lord Fitzwarren, and who 

presented to Chawton Rectory in 1514 ; on her death the 

whole of the Bonville possessions passed to her sister 


Sable six mullets ar. 

Ar, a chevron gu. 


Elizabeth, wife of Lord La Warr, with whom the long list 
of medieval owners of Chawton comes to an end. 

During this long period, important in- 
formation respecting the manorial history 
of Chawton is to be found in abstracts 
taken from Rolls and Inquisitions of the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. We 
have already alluded to one or two of these 


Ar. a fess dancettie sa. documents, but they throw such an in- 
teresting light on the long ownership of the Manor by the 
St. John family that it will be worth our while to dwell on 
them a little longer. 

In one of them (dated 1252) we find 1 that free warren was 
granted to Robert de St. John in his Demesne of Chawton. 
Assize of Bread & ale and right of gallows pillpry and tumbrell 
were allowed to John de St. John son of the said Robert in 
1280. It was then stated that the old gallows & pillory 
had fallen down, & that the tumbrell was worn out, and 
that upon it being reported that St. John's ancestors had from 
all time had these privileges the sheriff was ordered to allow 
him to replace them. 

In the 30th year of Edward I (1302) an Inquisition ' post 
mortem ' held on the death of John de St. John gives the 
following particulars ~ : 

' Inquisition taken at Chauton, 10 Kalends of November 
[30 Edward I, A.D. 1302]. The jury say that the aforesaid 


1 Victoria History of Hampshire, pp. 497, 498. 

- The purchasing value of money in the years 1300-1350 may be taken 
roughly at fifteen times its present value. 


John held, on the day he died, the manor of Chauton, of 
the King in chief, by half a knight's fee. The capital messuage, 
with the garden and other easements of the court, are worth 
yearly IDS. There are there four carucates of land, each 
carucate containing a hundred acres, each acre worth 30!. 
There are there one hundred acres of wood, each acre worth 
zd. There are there four acres of meadow, each acre worth 
2s. The pleas and perquisites of courts are worth yearly 
6s. 8d. There is there a several pasture, worth yearly 55. 
There are there eight free tenants, who render in the whole 
285. 6d., viz. : Nicholas Dalron, who holds one carucate of 
land, and renders yearly 6s. 8^., Walter le Portreve, who holds 
one messuage and half an acre of land and renders yearly 
55., William Pydargent, who holds . . . and renders yearly 
id., Hugh Bine, who holds one messuage and sixteen acres of 
land and renders yearly six barbed arrow heads worth ~$d. 1 
Luke atte Hok', who holds one messuage arid sixteen acres 
of land and renders yearly 8s., 3 Thomas Burewald, who holds 
one messuage and one acre of land, and renders by the year 
twelve barbed arrow heads worth 6d., William le Benetfeld, 
who holds one messuage and one virgate of land and renders 
yearly 45., and Geoffrey le Hacker, who holds one messuage 
and one virgate of land and renders yearly 45. These tenants 
owe suit of court twice yearly. There are there seven cus- 
tomary tenants, each holding sixteen acres and rendering 
yearly . . .(?), and they ought to work in autumn twenty- 
eight days for the lord's food, value of each work by the day id., 

1 Sic. - Sic. 


and each shall give half a quarter of corn for churchset at the 
feast of St. Martin, which is worth 2s. There are there five 
other customary tenants each of whom holds eight acres and 
renders yearly 2s., and they ought to work in autumn for twenty- 
four days for the lord's food, value of each work id., and each 
shall give one cock worth id., and one hen worth i%d., at the 
feast of St. Martin in the name of churchset. There are 
there four cottagers, each of whom holds one cottage and 
renders 6d., and each gives one cock and one hen for a church- 
set. The total value of the manor is 12 145. 8%d., from 
which sum there is payable to the chapel l within the court 
of the manor, 525., by the assignment and gift of Sir (Domini) 
Robert de St. John, for the celebration of divine service 
there for the souls of himself and his ancestors for ever.' 

The total annual value of the Manor, which is here put at 
less than 15, had been stated to be 20 in an earlier deed 
viz., a settlement made by John de St. John in 1275. We 
may notice also in this Inquisition the mention of a Manor 
House (' capital messuage ') and of a ' Chapel within the 
Court of the Manor.' Church-set, or -scot (cyric sceatta) was 
not a parochial obligation. It dated from the conversion of 
England in the seventh century, when mission districts were 
worked from centres known as ' minsters ' ; these minsters 
being maintained by contributions from the freemen of the 
district. They paid their ' shot,' or (if for any reason exempt) 
went 'scot' free. By the Laws of King Ine (A.D. 688-726) 
these dues were to be paid on St. Martin's Day. 

1 Sic. 


An inquisition ' ad quod damnum ' in 1329 gives the 
King's licence to one John atte Watere to hold messuages, etc. 
which had been granted to him by John de St. John. For 
the part of this property situated in the Manor of Chawton, 
the yearly rent mentioned in this deed was one rose. In the 
same year another licence authorizes Thomas de Marays 
(whose name is possibly a variant of ' Morey ') to retain his 
position as bailiff itinerant of the said John and his heirs for 
all their widely extended barony in the counties of South- 
ampton, Sussex, Kent, Hertford, Cambridge, and Warwick. 

On the death of Hugh de St. John in 1337 an inquisition 
was held at Basing, the portion of which relating to Chawton 
was as follows : 

' Chauton. Also they say that there is at Chauton one 
chief messuage of which the easement is worth nothing by 
the year beyond reprises. There are there two gardens, with 
the curtilage, worth yearly 6s. 8^. There are there four 
hundred and sixty-six acres of arable land, worth 3^. the 
acre ; eight acres of meadow, worth yearly with the pasture 
after the crop, 35. an acre ; twenty acres of pasture worth 
8d. an acre. There is there a certain park of which the pasture 
is worth yearly i8s., and the pannage, one year with another, 
is worth 35. A,d., and another park of which the pasture is 
worth yearly, beyond the sustentation of the deer (ferarum), 55., 
and the pannage, when it happens, 6s. 8d. The rents of 
assize are worth yearly 6 us. lid., from which there is 
assigned for making a certain chantry in the chapel built 
within the manor, 565. 9^. Also of rents at Christmas, two 



capons worth 4^., and six cocks and seven hens worth 13 (?), 
and two hundred and fifteen (?) eggs at Easter, worth 10^. 
Of churchset, 3^ quarters of corn worth us. 8^. The works 
of the customary tenants are worth yearly 425. Pleas and 
perquisites of court are worth yearly 135. 3^. 

' Sum, 19 155. 8d.' 

Hugh's widow Mirabel afterwards married Thomas de 
Aspale, and his death in 1350 was the cause of the following 
Inquisition : 
' A.D. 1350. 

'Extent of lands and tenements of Thomas de Aspale, 
made at Winchester ... 24 Edward III. [A.D. 1350] before 
Henry St . . ., sheriff. The jurors say that the said Thomas 
had the manor of Chauton with appurtenances, in which said 
manor there is a capital messuage of which the easements are 
worth by the year . . . The rents of the free tenants and 
services of native tenants are worth 705. There are there 
six hundred and thirty-two acres of arable land, of which 
each acre is worth izd. ; sixteen acres of mowable meadow, 
value of each acre 6s. ; a certain pasture called Oxclose, 
containing sixty acres, value of each acre 18^. ; a certain 
park called the Great Park, containing one thousand acres of 
pasture, value of each acre ^d. ; a certain park called the 
Little Park, containing one hundred acres of pasture, value 
of each acre 18^. ; two gardens [worth] by the year 6os. ; 
six messuages formerly of the native tenants, worth by the 
year 155. [? 40s.]. 1 The pannage of the Little Park aforesaid 


1 Reading uncertain ; the figures are either ' xv ' or ' xl.' 


is worth by the year 405., and the pannage of the Great Park 
is worth by the year 6os. The underwood of the Little Park is 
worth by the year 6os., and that of the Great Park aforesaid 
is worth by the year iocs. The underwood of the foreign (?) 
wood is worth by the year 6os. Pleas and perquisites of 
court, with waifs and strays and views of frankpledge, are 
worth by the year 7 135. 4,d. Sum of the extent of the said 
manor, 100 43. 8^. whereof is paid to Richard le Chamberlain, 
parker of the parks aforesaid, by the year, for the life of 
Mirable, wife of the said Thomas, for keeping the said parks, 
six quarters, four bushels [of corn], he taking by the week 
one bushel, value of each quarter 45. ; and for his stipend IDS. 
yearly, sum of the money reserved . . . and so the value 
of the manor clear is 98 8s. 6d.' 

The most noticeable points in this document are (i) the 
mention of the ' Great ' and ' Little ' Parks, one containing 
1000 acres, the other 100, and (2) the large annual value now 
assigned to the Manor. The variations in this value during 
the course of the fourteenth century are quite amazing, 
and it seems impossible to account for them ; unless it be by 
the fact that the valuations of this period were often disputed, 
and sometimes ordered to be made out afresh. Some- 
thing no doubt is to be attributed to differences of acreage 
of arable land dealt with in different deeds ; for instance, 
in 1302 the arable land is said to comprise 400 acres, while in 
1350 it is 632. But this does not account for the rapid increase 
in its value per acre, which rises from 3^. to izd. It is com- 
paratively easy to account for the subsequent collapse in 


E 2 


land value ; for the ' Black Death ' which devastated the 
country about 1350 was followed by the Peasant Revolt of 
1377. At any rate we find that the total annual value of 
the Manors of Sherborne, Basing, and Chawton in 1357 was 
200, and we know from an earlier document that Chawton 
was reckoned at one-fourth of the whole : yet in 1393 the 
value of Chawton, instead of being 50, was no more than 
11 75. 6d. 

This is all the information we have to give of the Manor 
of Chawton in medieval times, but from the middle of the 
sixteenth century onwards the Court Rolls are in existence, 
and extracts taken from these will enable the reader to learn 
something of the active life of the village, and of the customs 
of the Manor. 

A Court Baron was held by Edmund Lewkenor, John 
moyd, and Thomas Weme, Clerk, on the Eleventh day of 
October in the twenty-ninth year of Henry VIII. 

To this Court come Johannes Pescod, Thomas Mory, 
Johannes Bene, Richardus Knyght, ' generosi qui sunt liberi 

The names of the Homage were Thomas Mory, Richard 
Knyght, John Knyght jun., John Baret, William Daw, William 
Crocher, and Thomas Knyght. It will be seen afterwards 
that three of these names were borne by important local 

The Court Rolls of the first and second years of Elizabeth, 
when the Arundels held the Manor, contain matter concerning 
the parish (such as names of people and places and old customs) 
of sufficient interest to justify the following epitome of them. 



' Court Leet and Baron held the fifteenth day of April, in 
the First of Elizabeth (1558). 

'Nicholas Truelock, John Silvester, John Knyght, Hugh 
Bean, Edward Wyse, Peter Norton essoign by Thomas Hoker. 
' The Homage. 

John Knyght John Anisel 

Thomas Morey John Alderslade 

William Beane Robert Heath 

Nicholas Morey Thomas Eston 

Thomas Knyght Thomas Taylor 

William Knyght Ingram Russell 

William Daw James Burges 

Thomas Hoker Robert Naylor. 

' William Hunt and others are presented for being inhabitants 
and not attending but are pardoned by the Lord : 
'item they present two sheep were estrays. 
' item they present two white sheep were estrays. 
'The Widows Crowcher and Bean and Naylor are fined 
three pence each for keeping ale houses. 

' All hedge breakers are to pay twelve pence for every fact. 
' All tenants to mend their hedges within ten days, and for 
every default to pay three shillings and four pence. 

' All likewise to take out their sheep out of the Common 
fields that are to be sown before the usual day, otherwise to 
incur the like penalty. 

' Hugh Bean is fined four pence for cutting bushes on the 
Common without leave, and, if he commits the like again, 
Ten shillings. 



' All the tenants are to ring their hogs within ten days, or 
pay three shillings and four pence. 

'That John Alderslade who held one Messuage with the 
appurtenances called Carpenters, and one Croft and eleven 
acres of land with the appurtenances called Hobandrews, is 
dead and that a horse as a Herriot was due. To which copy- 
hold Agnes his wife and John his son came into court and laid 
claim for their lives. 

' That John Buckland who held a Messuage and one acre 
called Castelland is dead and that one sheep as a Herriot 
is due. 

' That Rich'd Lyster a Freeholder who held one close called 
Arrowcroft is dead and that sixty one pence, or Sixty-one 
arrows as a Relief is due ; but who is next heir at present they 
know not, but have fined his next heir three pence for not 
appearing in Court. 

' That Isabella Buckland, widow, and John are fined ten 
shillings if they repair not their house. 

' That no Copyholder shall let to any under tenant without 
a license. 

' That John Bean who paid five shillings and a penny yearly 
for certain free-lands is dead, and that five shillings and a penny 
are due for a Relief, and that William his son is of age and 
next heir William is commanded to appear at the next Court 
to show by what title he holds the foresaid lands, to pay his 
relief and to swear Fealty. 

(WM. DAW. 




' Court Leet & Court Baron held yth day of April in the 
second of Elizabeth. 

' William Carse essoigns by Wm. Knyght. Wm. Morey & 
Wm. Osborne by Nic: Morey. Robert Medcroft by Barnard 
Knyght, John Alderslade by John Amy, Wm. Hunt & Nick: 
Tryslowe by Henry Knyght. [The list of the Homage then 

' The Homage present that the Butts have been this eight 
years very much out of repair by the fault and negligence of 
the inhabitants. 

'That John Knyght Sen'r, Wm. Blanchard Jun'r, John 
Naylor, Bernard Pane, & John Daw be amerced for not appear- 
ing in Court. 

' That one sheep was Estray. 

' That all is well and true. 

' That the heir of Rich'd Lyster, Peter Norton Gent, John 
Knyght of Kingsclere have made a default in not attending 
but are pardoned. 

'That John Knyght a freeholder who paid 19 shillings 
yearly is dead, and that 19 shillings as a relief is due. 

' That Wm. Bean paid his five shillings and one penny 
according to order in the foregoing roll. That Isabella Buck- 
land, widow, has a License to let for four years one messuage 
and 14 acres of Land with appurtenances and paid a fine for 
the same. 

' A penalty upon the Homage of twenty shillings if they 



do not view the Bounds between the freeland & Copyhold of 
Tho's Morey and tell at the next Court how many acres of 
Copyhold Land the said Thomas holds. 

' The like penalty is put upon all the tenants if they do not 
sufficiently repair the hedges in Eastfield, Winstreet, Whitdown, 
North and Southfield before St. George's day next, and keep 
them so until All Saints' Day following. 

' Likewise five shillings if they do not ring their hogs before 


In these Rolls the name of Bean, which occurs more than 
once, is the name of a very ancient Chawton family who held 
land there as far back as 1308 ; in that year, ist of Edward II, 
Hugh Byene is mentioned in a Charter as having land in 
Chawton adjoining le Estfield. The same Hugh Byene is one 
of the witnesses to a Charter of the 6th of Edward II. In the 
I4th of Edward II, John de St. John confirms the grant of 
some land to Hugh Byne. In Edward Ill's reign Rich'd 
Hervy of Aulton confirms to Hugh Bene of Chawton the 
grant of two acres. In a Charter of the 22nd of Richard II, 
Henry Bene is one of the witnesses, and in the ist of Edward IV, 
William Bene. In the 5th of Henry V, Henry Bien and Agnes 
his wife have a cottage and croft confirmed to them. 

The name probably still survives in that of one of the 
fields near the Winchester road Bean's Close. A still more 
important local name was that of Morey, but as the family 



remained well known until much more recent times, they will 
be mentioned later. 

Among the chief duties of the Courts were those of drawing 
up rules and regulations for the proper using of the Common 
and conumon fields, taking care that those rules were observed, 
and inflicting fines for any infringement of them. There do 
not appear to have been any formal written rules in the early 
Rolls ; but that rules existed and were in force is shown 
by the fact that at every Court one tenant or another is pre- 
sented because he has overstocked the Common and common 
fields. It is plain from this that there was always a ' stint ' 
or restriction on the number of sheep and beasts to be turned 
out ; but what the stint was does not appear till the 32nd of 
Elizabeth, when it is ordered, ' That whoever should put upon 
the Common more than 3 sheep for every acre or more Rother 
Beasts than one for every three acres ' should pay a fine. 

The administration, however, and enforcement of the 
written and unwritten regulations connected with the Com- 
mon, appear to have been extremely lax during the reign of 
Elizabeth ; but in the beginning of the next reign the Court 
woke up again, and formally put down in writing the rules 
which had always regulated the use of the common land. 

This particular Court was held by John Knight (now Lord 
of the Manor) on nth April, 3rd of James I (1606). After 
reciting that, according to the ancient custom of the Manor, 
every tenant and inhabitant had the right of feeding three 
sheep for every acre of land which he held in the common 
fields of the Manor ' at such tyme and tymes as the said fields 



have not been sowen,' and one ' Rother beaste or Horse 
Beaste ' for every three of such acres ; and that within these 
last thirty or forty years ' greate parte of the sayd fieldes ' 
had been enclosed by divers of the said tenants and with 
the consent of the lord, which said tenants nevertheless still 
kept the same number of cattle upon the common fields as 
they did before, to the great prejudice of the tenants whose 
ground still lay in common and not enclosed, the jurors, 
tenants and inhabitants present proceeded to make regulations 
for the good government of the Manor. First of all, they 
mutually consented, granted, and agreed that neither they, nor 
any of them, nor ' any other whatsoever, that shall hereafter 
inhabit dwell or have the use or occupation of any lands or 
Tenements within the said Manor, shall keep or have any 
greater number of cattle going or feeding in and uppon the 
said waste and common fields than according unto the ancient 
rate and order." They then set out at length what the ancient 
rate and order was, and decreed that, ' evrie one that shall 
hereafter doe contrary to this order shall forfeyt for evrie 
time he shall offend, and do contrary to the same to the Lord 
of the said Manor for the tyme being the sum of ten shillings, 
the said to be levied by wayc of distress, etc.' 

Next followed general regulations for the management of 
the Common and common fields. 

All gates, hedges, and fences against and belonging to 
the common fields were to be repaired within six days after 
the first man ' hath begun to sowe in the said fields any corne 
or grayne and to be maynteyned according to the discretion 



of fower men, viz., John Barnard, Laurence Alderslade, 
Thomas Knight, & Nicholas Moorey, uppon payne of 
vis. vmd. for everie default.' The same four men were elected 
' vangers or breakers ' of the Common Fields, and were 
directed yearly to give notice to the tenants, &c., ' when any 
of the said fields shall be vanged and shall from tyme to 
tyme present unto the Lord of this Manor all forfeitures 
committed and done contrary to this order within three months 
next after the same shall be committed upon payne of xxs. 
for every default.' 

The next order is a self-denying one : 

' We doe agree that if any of us have encroached uppon 
any of his neighbours' lands in the Common Fields and the 
same shall soe appear by the vewe, judgment and discretion 
of any six of the Lord's Tenants then we payne everie man 
to lay out and amend his encroachments within ten daies after 
everie such vewe in such sort as the said six Tenants shall 
appoynte uppon payne of vis. vmd. for everie default.' 

Further orders directed that whosoever should ' drive his 
cattell along Broad Waie after the Corne be sowen there until 
the fields are all rid of the corn, shall forfeit for everie tyme 
ins. iv d,' That no person should leave behind him in the 
fields any of his cattle without a keeper. That no man should 
take any tenant, without the consent of the lord and parish- 
ioners, and that every man should from ' tyme to tyme secure 
and amend his watercourses uppon foure daies warninge 
to be given by any two of the Lord's Tenants, sub pena 
vis. vmd. toties quoties.' 



Six years afterwards, viz. gth October 1617, further regula- 
tions were agreed upon. 

' The vangers or breakers of the fields ' were to have power 
' to order and appoynte the tyme of rynginge or pegginge of 
hogge and where they shall be suffered to feed and goe and 
whosoever shall not, uppon warninge thereof given in the 
Church, pegge and ringe his hogge sufficientlie shall forfeyte 
to the Lord ii^. for everye hogge that shalbe not sufficientlie 
ringed & pegged.' 

That there should be a common ' sheepe prynte made at 
the equall charges of the Commoners that have sheepe common 
within the parish of Chawton before the first daie of May next 
followinge.' Every one who did not pay his share of the cost 
of making the ' prynte ' to be fined the ' prynte ' to be kept 
by some tenant chosen by the vangers at Easter, and to be 
imprinted at the expense of the owner on as many sheep 
as every man might lawfully keep, immediately after the 
sheep shearing. ' And if any Inhabitant keepe more sheepe 
prynted than he maye lawfullie doe by the Ancient rates, 
he shall forfeyt to the Lord of the Manor ii^. for everye sheep 
toties quoties. And for everye sheepe that shalbe there taken 
unprynted with the same prynte shall forfeite to the Lord 
mid. for everye sheepe toties quoties.' 

Next the vangers were authorised to order the ' lay- 
inge uppe, or freethinge of all the Common Fields as well 
when the same shall beginn as when the same shalbe layed 
open uppon publick notice thereof to be given in the Church 
and that every inhabitant that will not stand to their order 
therein shall forfeite to the Lord vis. vmd. toties quoties.' 



Then, as to turning out pigs on the Common, the vangers 
had full power and authority to appoint to every man the 
rateable proportion or number of hogs he might put into the 
Common to mast there. 

The maintenance of parish boundaries, too, was an im- 
portant part of the duties of the Court. At the same Court 
we find them presenting that the ' Ancient bounds between the 
Lordshipps of Chawton and Alton at the end of the lane 
leadinge from Ackner were sett uppe and bounden by the 
Ancient men of Chawton, viz. Wm. Moorye the elder, John 
Alderslade, and Thomas Moorye the elder, and that the holes 
which were digged about the beginning of October last and 
filled with stones at and by the Knappe or Green Hill at thend 
of the said lane, and the bounds at the greene hill or Knappe 
near Mayden Lane Gate at Robyn Hoode Butts where likewise 
holes are digged and filled with stones, are the utmost of the 
bounds by them sett and appoynted in the presence of Richard 
Dawes, John Barnard, Thomas Buckland, Thomas Pryor, 
Richard Willys, Richard Mason (clerk), and Laurence Alders- 
lade who were then there and did see and vewed the settinge 
forth of the said bounds.' 

The ' vanngers or frethers ' were to be elected yearly in 
the Christmas holidays by the lord's tenants, the time of 
meeting to be given by the outgoing vanngers in Church 
publicly on Christmas day. If, during their term of office, 
they should neglect their duties, they were to forfeit to the 
lord for every such careless neglect xxs. 

Although there was assize of bread and ale in this Manor 



allowed to John de St. John in 1280, no ale-tasters were 
appointed at Courts, as was the case in the Manor of Alton 
Eastbrook ; and in the matter of ale it would have been a dead 
letter, as no alehouse was permitted in the parish. 

The Court of gth October 1617 agreed ' that if any 
Inhabitant of the Parish of Chawton shall from this tyme forth 
keepe any Ale house, victuallinge house taking in and sellinge 
or buyinge or sellinge forth of their house or within their house 
to any of the Parish of Chawton or out of the Parish of 
Chawton any ale or beere, he shall for everye tyme so 
offendinge forfeit to the Lord of the Manor xxvis. vm^. 
whereof we of the homage doe entreat that vis. vmd. of 
everye such payne or forfeit may be distributed amongst 
the poore of Chawton.' 

Gaming and unlawful playing were also kept under control. 
' If any Inhabitant of the Parish of Chawton doe from hence- 
forth keepe in his house any common gaminge or other unlawful 
playes to the disorderinge of men's servants or any other 
Inhabitants or Passengers at any unreasonable tymes and 
seasons he shall forfeit for everye tyme so offendinge us. vid.' 

The stealing of hedgewood or rather the receiving of 
stolen wood was punished by a fine of a shilling, half of which 
the lord was entreated to distribute among the poor. 

A claim to a right of way through Southfields to Crocklands 
appears to have been for a long time a cause of dispute. In 
1622 Thomas Moorey claimed the right of way, and, after 
taking the evidence of two old men, the Homage presented 
that there hath not been nor is any ancient way of right. 



However, the claims continued to be made ; for, at the Court 
held i6th April, I4th of Charles II, the Homage presented 
' Wm. Fisher for continuing the way in Southfield upon paine 
of 405., unless he doe forbear.' The Fishers had succeeded 
to the Moorey property. 

In 1706 the opinion of the Attorney-General, Sir Edward 
Northey, was taken by Wm. Knight as to whether the above 
pain could be levied by distress. The opinion was adverse, 
viz. ' As to the way I am of opinion it is a matter of a private 
nature with which the Court Leet or Court Baron cannot 
intermeddle, and therefore no distress can be taken for the 
pains relating to the way.' 

That the relations between the Fishers and the lord of the 
Manor were somewhat strained at this time is shown by a 
further point which was referred to Sir Edward Northey at 
the same time : 

' Wm. Fisher one of the freeholders of the said Manor being 
upwards of 60 years old refuses to doe his suite and service 
at the Court Leete for the said Manor tho' he had notice of 
the Court and been personally required to appear att it, and 
lives within the said Manor within half a quarter of a mile 
of the Manor House. Whether a person of that age is exempt 
from doing his suite and service at the Court Leete, altho' 
in respect of his strength & Ability he is as capable as one 
of 30 or 40 years : 

' I am of opinion a person of that age, not being disabled 
by sickness is not excused from doing his suite at the Court 
Leet & for non appearance he may be amerced by the Jury. 


July 22nd, 1706.' 


The vangers continued to be appointed until after the 
Restoration ; the last of such consecutive appointments 
having been that of Wm. Pratt and Rowland Prowting at the 
Court held i6th April, I4th of Charles II. From this time to 
the 24th October 1705 the Rolls are silent as to the stint of 
Common and the election of vangers, but in 1705 the usual 
presentments were revived and the vangers appointed. At 
this Court the Homage also present that the stocks and 
whipping (' wiping ') post are out of repair. At a previous 
Court (6th October 1654) they had presented that ' the Lord 
of this Mannor, uppon lawfull warninge or notice to bee given, 
att his owne coste & charges ought to repayrs the Pound 
belonging to this Manner.' 

Bees seem to have been looked upon as estrays, and in 
1706 the jury present a swarm of bees found in the Manor of 
Chawton, ' which Bees are now in the Custody of Mr. Wm. 
Fisher the younger, and belong to the Lord of the Manor, 
having no owner appearing.' At the same Court they present 
Mr. William Fisher, senior, for not paying a couple of 
capons for his quit rent due to the lord of this Manor at 

At the Court held 24th September 1729, by Bulstrode 
Knight and Elizabeth his wife, the jury present that there 
shall be four persons chose ' vongers ' of the common fields, 
to be chosen in the Christmas holidays, and whoever refuses 
to come to the election shall forfeit to the lord 35. 4^. So by 
this time the ancient name of ' vangers ' for the breakers up 
and freethers of the common fields had been corrupted into 



' vongers.' Their duties came altogether to an end on the 
enclosure of Common and common fields in 1741. 

It seems not improbable that during this period the lord 
of the Manor, or possibly some of the larger commoners, had 
been buying up the rights of smaller inhabitants ; for when 
the Enclosure Bill was passed there were only seven commoners 
besides the lord and the rector to receive allotments of land, 
and of these seven, two were non-resident corporations. The 
number appears insignificant when compared with those 
who attended the earlier Courts, and who displayed so much 
activity and interest in the life of the parish. 

It will interest some to know the names of those summoned 
to attend the Court two hundred years ago : 

William Fisher Edward Harris 

Tho's Prior John Harris 

John Dawes Wm. : French 

Andrew Eyres Thomas Oliver 

Rob't Boldover Francis Pink 

Rob't Carter James Pink 

John Lipscombe John Privett 

Rowland Prowting Rob't Jowning 

James Mumford Rich'd Knight 

Tho's ;Eames Thomas Morley 

John Alderslade Jethro Eames 

Henry Strudwick Tho's Baker 

William Woodward John Naish. 

Robert Grover. 

Of this list of names, there is only one still to be found in 



Chawton, that of French, though more than one family can 
trace their descent from Richard Knight on the female side. 
From the list the name of one of the principal of the old 
families of Chawton is absent that of Morey. As long ago 
as the ist year of Henry IV and again in the 5th of Henry V 

John Moury is witness to a grant of land 

in Chawton. Probably the Chantry Certifi- 
cate of Edward VI which mentions an 
obit celebrated in the Church for ' Thomas 
Moore ' refers to a member of this 
family ; certainly the name occurs among 
the Homage in each of the early Court 
Rolls. Possibly 'Thomas Moore' was 
the same as Thomas Mory, who died in 1503, and 
bequeathed to the high altar of the Church of Chawton ' for 
tithes forgotten ' 6/8 ; he also directed his son to find a 
priest in the parish church there to celebrate for one whole 
year for the souls of himself, his two wives, and various 
relations, receiving for his pains 6 135. <\d. He also directed 
that a tenement in Alton Eastbrook 'in which William 
dwells, paying a yearly rent of 6/8, shall serve an annual obit 
for ever, for my soul and the souls abovesaid ' ; the obit to be kept 
every year in the week following Passion Sunday ; and one-half 
of the 6/8 to go to the poor. Mory also bequeathed 20/- 
to the parish church of Chawton, and four ewes to the mainte- 
nance of 'le Pascall' (the Easter Sepulchre) in the said 

In the eighteenth century Mrs. Elizabeth Knight considered 
the family of sufficient importance to have a record kept of the 



births and deaths of several generations, although by that time 
the male line was extinct . The last representative of the family 
bearing the name was Thomas Moorey, who, in the words of the 
inscription on his daughter's monument, ' in the Great Rebellion 
fighting for Monarchy & Episcopacy against the implacable 

enemies to both, was unfortunately slain,' 

leaving a daughter Anne ' scarce a year old.' 

This Anne married William Fisher in 1660. 

The only issue of this marriage was a son, 

William, who married in 1716 Mary, the 

daughter of William Forbes of Farnham. 

This lady survived her husband, and married or a fess cotised sa. 

Dr. John Harris of Ashe, dying in 1748. Her 

only son, Forbes Fisher, died unmarried in 1760, and was 

succeeded by his sister Mary, the wife of Fairmedow Penyston. 

It was her, son, Francis Penyston, who in 1822 sold the old 

Morey property to Edward Knight. It comprised, with other 

land, Wood Barn and Southfield farms, land in the Low 

Grounds, and the house in the centre of the village on the 

north side of the highroad. Of this house the greater part 

was pulled down about 1850, leaving only the offices, which 

were converted into a small farmhouse. The arms borne by 

the Moreys were ermine three bars nebulee sable; by the 

Fishers, or a fess cotised sable. 

We must not pass without notice another old Chawton 
family whose name is to be found in the above list, though it 
is now extinct that of Prowting. For upwards of two hundred 
years the Prowtings were first copyholders and then free- 
holders in the parish. Rowland Prowting and his son Thomas 


G 2 


were admitted to a copyhold in Stonehills, 2ist of Charles II, 
and from that time onwards the family appear to have taken 
an active part in parochial politics, gradually rising in import- 
ance, Wm. Prowting being a Justice of the Peace and Deputy 
Lieutenant for the county. On his death in 1821 without 
male issue, the property, of which the house lately called 
Denmead was the dwelling-house, went to his daughter Ann 
Mary, wife of Capt. Benjamin Clement, R.N. Of their three 
children, Benjamin, Anne Mary, and William Thomas, the two 
former held the property in succession, and after their death 
without issue it devolved upon the daughter of William 
Thomas, Lilias Edith Clement. She died unmarried in 1895, 
and the property was then soldi 

The extracts from the Court Rolls which have been given 
above show an active life in this small village community, and 
a real desire to do justice between man and man. The lord 
was no doubt possessed of important rights and privileges, but 
even he had definite duties to discharge. His land was made 
up in great part of strips in the open field, and these would be 
subjected to the same course of tillage as those of his neigh- 
bours. Even in his own Court he, or rather his steward, 
hardly occupied the position of a judge. The tenantry, 
forming what answered to a jury, were virtually his assessors, 
and, as we have seen above, do not hesitate to call on him to 
carry out his obligations by repairing the stocks, whipping- 
post arid pound ; rough and ready methods, no doubt, but 
probably then considered necessary for ensuring the safety 
and good order of the community. A different set of ideas 
is introduced by the edicts against alehouses and indiscriminate 



gambling. Whether these regulations were made at the 
instance of the lord or tenants does not appear. The date of 
the later rules (1617) seems to suggest that possibly they may 
have been dictated by the rising power of Puritanism, but the 
beginning of the reign of Elizabeth is too early for the influence 
of this particular movement. If they were really prompted 
by zeal for temperance, and not in the interests of any private 
monopoly and the rules controlling gaming and unlawful 
playing show that moral interests counted for something in 
the Courts they were in advance of their age. In this con- 
nexion it may be mentioned that in 1748 a petition was 
signed by the rector, churchwardens, overseers, and two other 
parishioners, ' that no Public House may be licenced hereafter 
for the selling of Beer, Ale, Wine, Brandy, Punch or other 
Liquors within the said Parish of Chawton.' l 

The amount of the demesne lands in the Manor was con- 


1 Some control, however, over the alehouses in the interests of religion 
and morality was not unusual in Manorial Courts. We may instance a 
recognisance entered into in the reign of Elizabeth by an intending tenant of 
an alehouse at Bricet in Suffolk (a Manor belonging to King's College, Cam- 
bridge). The condition of this recognisance was that the tenant ' do keepe 
his saide Alehouse honestlie and lawfullye accordinge to the lawes and Statutes 
of this Realme ; And also doo not surfer or permyt anye suspicious person 
or persons vacabondes quarelers or thieves to his knowledge theire to be 
maynteyned or keapte or lodged And also doo not surfer or mayneteyne 
anye unlawful games as bowles tennys dyse cardes tables and suche other 
lyke, there to bee used by anye person or persons Nor keape anye companye 
in the said howse eatinge drynkynge or playing in the tyme of anye service 
or sermon in the parysh Church there or at any unlawful! tyme.' In the same 
way we learn (The Manor and Manorial Records, N. J. Hone) that at Gnossall 
in Staffordshire in the 2ist of Elizabeth certain persons were fined for per- 
mitting divers unlawful games, called ' le cards ' and ' le Tables ' to be played 
by divers unknown men in their several houses there, against the form of the 
Statute 38th of Henry VIII. 


A survey exists which was made in John Knight's time, 
at the end of the sixteenth century, as follows : 

' A survey of Demane Lands belonging to Mr. John Knight. 

A Manor House : a Peging (pigeon) House. 

Of erable 481 

Of pasture . . . . . . . . . . 100 

Of medowe . . . . . . . . . . 49 

Of rough heth .. .. .. .. 55 

Of wood ground . . . . . . . . 485 

Sum is . . 1170 

' A survey of such lands belonging to Mr. John Knight 
as are not of the demane lands. 

Of houses . . . . . . . . . . 13 

of erable . . . . . . . . . . 253^ 

of pasture . . . . . . . . . . 8 

of medowe . . . . . . . . . . >j\ 

of wood land . . . . . . . . 5^ 

upon the Parish Common of Wood ground 125 


Of houses . . . . . . . . . . 15 

of erable . . . . . . . . . . 734 

of pasture . . 108 

of medowe . . . . . . . . . . 

of wood ground . . . . . . . . 

of rough Heth ground . . . . . . 55 

Sum of acres = 1569^ ' 

The Commoners had certain rights in the common fields and 
also over 321 acres which formed the Common. 



The boundary of the Common was as follows, beginning 
at the Lower Road or ' Shrave,' where there was a gate, called 
the ' Hatch Gate.' It followed the hedge of Hatchgate and 
Imbook to the top of the hill ; then turned west to the north- 
west corner of Greenwood Copse, where it turned south again ; 
outside the copse across Jays Bottom to the Faringdon boun- 
dary. Here it turned west, and continued along the parish 
boundary hedge to the Four Marks, where was another gate. 
Still keeping to the parish boundary here against Medstead 
it continued in a northerly direction as far as the bank and 
ditch of Red Hill Cut in Chawton Park, where it turned east, 
following the boundary bank of Chawton Park as far as the 
King Tree Gate. Here it turned south across Great Reads 
by the west side of Read's Copse to the Shrave, thence along 
the south side of Read's Copse to the Hatch Gate. 

The enclosure of all the common land took place in 1740-1, 
soon after Thomas Brodnax had succeeded to the property 
under the will of Mrs. Elizabeth Knight. It appears to have 
been carried out most carefully and systematically. Nine 
owners of common rights were in existence at the time, viz. 
Thomas Knight, Lord of the Manor, Mr. Fisher's heirs, Mr. 
Baker the Rector, the Corporation of Winchester (as Trustees 
of Peter Symonds' School), Feoffees of the Free Grammar 
School of John Eggar of Moungomeryes, Robert Eames, 
Rowland Prowting, Mrs. Prowting, and Michael Harris. 

The allotments were as follows l : To Thomas Knight, as 


1 For a list of ancient names of fields, taken from Court rolls and 
old Charters, together with a description of the Common fields, see 
Appendix II ; for Plans of the Common and Common fields see Appendix IX. 


his share of the Common, on consideration of his right and 
privileges as lord of the Manor, Long eight acre, and Gibbetts 
Plantation (not then planted), and the herbage of all. the 
highways taken out of the Common ; and in consideration of 
his rights of common, Bineswood, Dra whole field, Gores, 
12 acres by Worthimy Lane and Upper Reads in all 156 
acres ; and of the common fields 143 acres. 

To Mr. Fisher's heirs, 32^ acres of the Common, viz. Great 
Common, Green Common, and part of Jays Bottom, and 38 
acres of the common fields. 

To the Glebe, of the Common, Parsonage Common ; and 
9 acres of the common fields. 

To the Trustees of Peter Symonds' School, 58^ acres of 
the Common, viz. the block of land between Parsonage 
Common, Gores, and the upper and lower roads, together with 
57^ acres of the common fields. 

To the Feoffees of Eggar's School, on the Common, Jays 
Pond Piece, Jays Hanger, and Jays Hill, and about 23 acres 
in the common fields. 

To Robert Eames, Merry Tree Piece and the upper part 
of Firtree Copse on the Common, and about 18 acres in the 
common fields. 

To Rowland Prowting, part of Long Common and 6 acres 
in the common fields. 

To Mrs. Joan Prowting, the remainder of Long Common and 
6J acres in the common fields. 

To Michael Harris, Tanners Puddock and 5^ acres in the 
common fields. 

Thomas Knight was to have the timber with full liberty 



to fell, grub up, and carry it away, before the ist June 1742. 
A piece not exceeding an acre was to be reserved unenclosed 
to be used as a chalk pit for manuring the respective allotments, 
and a pond for watering sheep and cattle. The highways and 
droveways were laid out at the same time and left unenclosed, 
very much as they now exist. Northfield Lane was to be, 
from the Shrave Road to the Pace- Way Road, 20 feet wide. 
The lower road or Shrave, now the high road to Winchester, 
was to be not less than 40 feet nor more than 80 feet wide 
from the north-west corner of Southfield, now called Hatchgate, 
as far as the south-west corner of Read's Coppice, and 40 feet 
wide from thence to Buckler's Tigh, and 10 rods wide from 
Buckler's Tigh to Four Marks Gate. (Buckler's Tigh must 
be what is now known by the less euphonious name of Lousey 
Dell.) Worthimy Lane was to be 4 rods wide, with a gate at 
the parish boundary ; and the road from Four Marks Gate 
to Red Hill 3 rods, with liberty to Thomas Knight to hang 
gates (not to be locked) at each end. 

Seven arbitrators were appointed by the commoners, under 
an indenture of agreement, dated 22nd May 1740, viz. : 

John Barnard, of New Alresford, Esq. 

Benjamin Reynolds, of Fleet, Yeoman. 

Bernard Burningham, of Wield, Yeoman. 

Thomas Stevens, of Wield, Yeoman. 

Thomas Earwaker, of Neatham, Yeoman. 

John Budd, of Trinity in Medstead, Yeoman. 

John Camish, of Medstead, Yeoman. 

Their award was confirmed by Act of Parliament in 1740-1. 
The expenses of the enclosure amounted to 223 i6s. n^d , 




and were paid by the commoners and the lord of the Manor, 
rateably in proportion to the number of acres allotted to them. 

The items were : 

s. d. 

' Edward Randell's Bill for surveying & making 

the Common Fields and setting out the several 
allotments therin, being 309 acres @ I2d. per 
acre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 9 o 

Ditto for the Common, being 321 acres @ 8d. 
p. acre . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 14 o 

Mr. Baker's Bill for drawing & engrossing 
Articles of reference, & the award, & attendance, 
etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 12 10 

Mr. Hamlyn's Bill for charge of passing the 
act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 19 6 

A fee to the messengers of the House of 
Commons .. .. .. .. .. .. 110 

Edward Randell's Bill for two journeys to 
London and Mr. Barnard to attend the Commit- 
tees of boath Houses . . . . . . . . 69 loj 

To the Referees for their trouble . . . . 990 

Bills of expenses at the George at Alton at 
four meetings of the Referees and proprietors of 
the Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . n i 9 

223 16 1 1 ' 

It required a levy of 75. i%d. an acre to cover the amount 



From the completion of the enclosure so authorised, all 
interest in the history of the Manor ceases, although of course 
formal Courts continued to be held as long as it contained any 
copyholders. The general history of the Manor since the 
date of the enclosure has been wholly uneventful. The popula- 
tion of the village has varied but little, and we have no story 
to tell of migration of workmen, of the rising of labourers 
against their employers, of rioters or Chartists. Since 1834 
allotments have been provided, and the tendency in modern 
times has been to increase rather than diminish the number 
of agricultural holdings. In fact, the general character of the 
place has been what Conservatives would like to call peaceful 
and contented, while ardent reformers might possibly stigma- 
tise it as sleepy and unprogressive. But even ardent reformers 
can hardly avoid a preference for the reign of peace and quiet 
within the circumference of a moderate-sized circle drawn 
round their own homes. 

H 2 



HE Church of St. Nicholas stands within the 
grounds of the Manor House, and is distant 
from it only about seventy yards. In 1291 it 
was taxed (under a papal assessment) at 
& 135. ^d. A Church must therefore have existed in the 
thirteenth century, and the shape of the Chancel of the 
present building accords with this early date, although no 
medieval architectural features are now visible. Possibly the 
dedication was to St. Nicholas and St. Mary ; as one of the 
two pre-Reformation bells which the Church contained was 
inscribed ' Sancte Nicolai ora pro nobis,' while the other 
bore the words ' Sancta Maria ora pro nobis.' The latter 
of these bells is still in use. 

Besides the Parish Church and apparently apart from it, 
there existed the ' free Chappel of St. Laurence,' founded and 
endowed by Sir Robert de St. John. In 1337 l a sum of 
money is assigned ' for making a certain chantry in the Chapel 

1 Chap. II, p. 25. 


built within the Manor.' In a Patent Roll of about the same 
date the King grants to Geoffrey Gabriel, chaplain, the free 
Chapel of Chawton vacant and to him belonging by reason 
of the minority of the heir of Hugh de St. John, who is in the 
King's custody. This Gabriel was not Rector of Chawton ; 
but probably the two offices merged as time went on. In 
1540 a lease of the Chantry House with land called ' the 
Rede ' was made by Sir Thomas Weme, Clerk, who is 
described as ' Master or Gustos, otherwise called the Chantry 
Priest of the free Chappel or Chantry of Chawton,' and 
who was certainly also Rector J of the parish ; and in a 
chantry certificate it is stated that the chantry lands have 
been held by the Rectors as part of their glebe 
' bin out of mind.' 

The Rectors of this time seem to have made a practice 
of letting Parsonage and Tithe ; early in the reign 
of Elizabeth, Justinian Lancaster, Rector, let them, first 
to John, and after his death to Nicholas Knight. 
Possibly he was specially impecunious, for a year later he 
acknowledges a debt of 30 los. due from himself to Nicholas 
Knight, and then acquits Mr. Knight from payment of his 
rent for four years in consideration of receiving meat and 
drink, and four pounds yearly. 

Nothing very interesting is to be seen in the earliest 
existing representation of the Church, viz. a painting of the 
eighteenth century, taken from the north-west, which is 
now at Chawton House, and which faces the opening of 

1 For a list of Rectors see Appendix III. 


this chapter. It consists of Nave and Chancel, and it 
appears from the representation that the Nave had been 
lengthened at some previous time by the addition of a 
western portion wider than the more eastern part, an 
arrangement which necessitated a break in the roof at the 
junction of the two. Towards the west end was a square 
belfry with boarded sides above the roof, covered in 
with a sloping shingle turret ending with a somewhat lofty 
cross, on which was a weather-cock. On the north side was 
a closed-in Porch, lighted by a small two-light window over 
the door. 

There were three windows on the north side, viz. a round- 
headed single-light window in the Chancel, a three-light 
window east of the Porch, and a window similar to that in 
the Chancel to the west of the Porch. Another of the 
same sort was in the west end, and was apparently the 
result of a legacy bequeathed by William Knight, who died 
in 1546, for ' Reappeassyng ' a debt owing by him to the 
Church. The cost does not seem to have exceeded two 
pounds. The picture shows no signs of any tracery in the 
windows or doorway ; but that may be owing to the careless- 
ness or want of skill of the artist. It is of course impossible 
to trust representations of Gothic features in drawings of 
that period. 

So far, however, as a judgment can be formed from the 
picture which we have attempted to describe, there seems to 
have been little about the Church worth preserving ; and this is, 
apparently, what Richard Knight thought, for in his will (1641) 



he directed that in the event of his son (afterwards Sir Richard) 
dying unmarried a new church should be built containing a 
monument of himself, his brother and sister, father and 

However, Sir Richard did marry, and instead of building 
a new church left 500 for a monument to himself, which still 
adorns the Chancel. 

At the end of the sixteenth century new ' pues ' had been 
set up ; and early in the seventeenth had been added a new 
pulpit, a third bell, and the King's arms. 

In 1733 alterations were made in the Church internally. 
There is a memorandum signed by Jo. Baker, the Rector, to 
the following effect : 

' This Church was New Pewed and Repaired by Bulstrode 
Knight Esq., and Elizabeth his wife, and the Parishioners 
seated by order of a Vestry, which Vestry is signed by the 
Minister and Churchwardens.' 

The arrangement of seats begins as follows : 

' On the North side 
Mr. Knight's Seat. 

On the South Side 
Mrs. Fisher's Seat. ( the size of Mr. Knight's).' 

These were high square pews, which were converted into 
three and two pews respectively about 1859. Eight more pews 
were allotted on the north side and nine more on the south 

side ; 



side ; the men as a rule sitting on the north side and the 
women on the south. 

There was a gallery at the west end. Mrs. Knight seems 
to have suggested the arrangement for allotting seats, 
as there is a scheme in her own handwriting which was 
more or less carried out. At the end of it is a note : ' I 
would Place to every House one seate for ye man, & one 
for ye woman. Where they have Increased their Tene- 
ments, If ye Pews will not hold them, they must sit in the 

The next record of anything being done to the Church 
was in 1748, when an effort was made to repair it. The 
circumstances connected with this attempt deserve to be 
recorded at length. 

On the 8th May 1748 the Vestry met and passed the 
following resolution : ' We, the Parishioners of the said Parish, 
having taken into consideration the Ruinous condition of the 
West end of our Church, do find that the Tower wherein 
three Bells did hang and the timbers which did support the 
same and part of the Roof are very much out of Repair, and 
we think the expenses of Repairing it, fit to receive the three 
Bells again, will be more than the Parishioners are able con- 
veniently to pay ; therefore we are against the three bells 
being hung up again, and we are of opinion that it will be 
more convenient and for the Benefit of the Parish that the 
Church may be repaired in such manner as to receive only 
one Bell and that the other two should be sold towards 
defraying the Charge of the said Repaires and that The 




Rev. Mr. Hinton should apply to the Bishop for leave to sell 

the same. 

Tho. Knight 1 
J. Hinton, Rector 
John Budd 
Wm. Banks 
John Baigen 
James Bull 
Robert Eames 
Michael Harrison.' 

In pursuance of this resolution Mr. Hinton applied to the 
Bishop, Benjamin Hoadly (a prelate more conspicuous for 
friendly good nature than for love of Church order or 
dignity of worship), and received the following answer : 

' 1 4th May 1748. 

1 REV'D SIR, I am truly of your opinion that three Bells 
are not necessary, & that one is sufficient for so small a Parish 
as Chawton. I therefore most readily consent to the request 
of the Parishioners, that two of them may be disposed of, 
and the price be applied to the good work of repairing the 
Church. But I am at a loss whether my Leave given in this 
manner, in a private letter by myself, will be a Justification 
in Law for your doing it or whether my License should not 
be given in my name by my Officer the Commissary of my 
Court in Southwark in the usual Form of all such Faculties. 
I should be very sorry to have you put yourselves to the charge 


1 Thomas (Brodnax) Knight the elder. 


of such a Faculty, the fees of which the officers always expect 
and never remit, and indeed I cannot think that when my 
private consent has been given in this way merely to prevent 
more charge to a Parish which can hardly bear the necessary 
charge of the Repair itself, I cannot think, I say, that after 
this anyone either can or will give you any trouble in so good 
a work for want of a Ceremony which I do not see to be neces- 
sary after my allowance of what you desire. 

' I am, wishing your Parishioners good success in their 
undertaking, Rev'd Sir, Y'r affect'e Br. & Serv't, 


' When you see Mr. Knight I beg you to give my very humble 
service to him.' 

This miserable scheme, however, was not to meet with 
success. It was frustrated by the active opposition of one of 
the Prowtings, which is described in the following extract 
from a letter of Mr. Edward Randall, the Steward, to Mr. 
Knight, dated 24th May of the same year. 

' HONOURED' SIR, By this time I hope you and my Mistress 
& the young Ladys & Master Knight are all arrived safe at 
Godmersham, and indeed I think it well, for Prowting has 
made and rais'd such a clamour amongst the mob that there 
is hardly any passing the Streets. I am told that they called 
after you as you pass'd thro' Alton to know if you had a Bell 
in your Coach. I am told he has said you wanted to sell the 
Bells to put the money in your Pockett. But I have promised 

I 2 


a Guinea reward to anyone that will prove he said so. But 
after the last Vestry on the I5th he ask'd some to go home 
with him, and Michael Harrison (the other churchwarden) 
who had signed the order before, and Wheatly who approv'd 
of it and would have signed it, immediately sign'd a paper 
which Prowting had got ready for them, and Prowting imme- 
diately took horse & went to London to the Bishop & com- 
plain'd how unwilling the Major part of the Parish was to 
comply with your request. But the Bishop did not take the 
paper nor read it, as he acquaints Mr. Hinton, (as I suppose 
he has already acquainted you), but desires to have the 
matter referred to him by the consent of all parties. But 
Prowting gives out that you shall not lead him for he is 
determined to proceed in his own way, and if you or any 
one move for a Faculty from Court he is determined to 
put in a Caveat.' 

No faculty seems to have been applied for ; at any 
rate, none was granted, for the three bells went back to the 
Belfry, which appears to have been sufficiently repaired and 
strengthened to last another ninety years. ' Well done, old 
great-great-grandpa Prowting ! ' exclaimed one of the last 
descendants of that family, when she was told of this 

In April 1838, the year following the institution of the 
Rev. Charles B. Knight as Rector, an alteration of the Church 
was commenced, some of the details of which are given in the 
Rector's journal for that year. The scheme had been on foot 



for some years before it was executed. In February 1835 
Henry Austen now Perpetual Curate of Bentley writes 
to his nephew, James Edward Austen, to ask if he will 
help him in a Church Building Scheme. He adds : 
' Edward Knight [his nephew] is also set on building a 
new church at Chawton. He thinks that 1600 will be 
wanted. Your Uncle K. begins with a Donation of 500 and 
your Aunt Cass of 100. This manoeuvre has turned my 
flank entirely, for I had designs on her and the Rectory for 
some stray pounds. But now wish rather that I could give 
than receive.' 

The whole of the west end of the Church, including the 
North Porch, was now pulled down and, with the exception 
of the Porch, was rebuilt on the same foundations. The 
timbers of the Belfry were found to be very rotten. A low 
brick tower was built at the centre of the west end, through 
which was made the only entrance to the Church. All the 
new work was of brick, covered over with stucco, with two 
very long single-light windows on each side. The walls of the 
eastern part of the Nave were left, but two double-light 
pointed windows were inserted, on each side, and single-light 
windows were put into the Chancel, two on the north side, 
one on the south, all in the barest Churchwarden Gothic style. 

The Chancel had previously been separated from the Nave 
by a screen. This was removed, and the Diary says : ' In 
taking the plaster off the screen the wall was found covered 
all over with paintings, apparently figures of persons, but it 
was impossible to make anything out accurately. The Wall 



was evidently very old, & made of the worst materials, 
some a sort of moist sandy dirt, enough to make any place 

In the earlier part of the same year considerable alterations 
were made in the vault under the Chancel. When this was 
being prepared for the burial of the first Mrs. Edward Knight, 
it was found to be in a very bad state of repair, not having 
been used for burial for over a hundred years. There were four 
coffins in it, that of Mrs. Elizabeth Knight being of the latest 
<iate ; she died in 1737. Two were those of her two husbands, 
William Woodward and Bulstrode Peachey ; the fourth, that 
of her brother, Christopher Knight. The vault was merely 
covered over with a floor of wood on wooden joists over which 
was about a foot of earth full of roots of trees ; over that 
was the paving of the Chancel, across which the vault extended, 
being 13 feet long and 8 feet wide. It was very shallow, so 
that no one could get in or remain there but on hands and 
knees. All the timbers were rotten and in a dangerous state. 
The four coffins were moved, two to one side and two to the 
other, and, being placed one on the other, were enclosed in 
a brick wall and arched over. The remaining middle space 
was deepened three feet and arched over, leaving space for 
three coffins in a row, and three tiers of coffins. The vault 
was only used three times after this : in the following May 
for the burial of Edward Lewkenor, in 1844 for that of Anna- 
bella Christiana, and in 1845 for that of Edward Brook all 
children of Edward Knight. 

The Church as altered in 1838 was certainly a very ugly 

building : 


building : it was entirely cased with stucco ; there were no 
architectural features in the windows ; and the building was 
even less picturesque and interesting than before it was 
altered. The old Porch, plain as it was, broke the 
flatness of the north side, and the little wooden Belfry with 
its shingle roof was far less objectionable than the squat 
stuccoed tower which took its place. The destruction of the 
Chancel screen, too, was an irreparable loss. We can at least 
say that the work was solidly carried out by Messrs. Dyer of 
Alton ; and the Church, which had been made quite impervious 
to weather, was no doubt looked upon at the time as having 
been greatly improved. 

During the next thirty years some attempt was made 
towards beautifying the interior : the east window was filled 
with coloured glass of a very simple character, the floor of 
the Sanctuary was laid with Minton tiles, and one of the 
windows on the south side was filled with stained glass, the 
subject being the Good Shepherd, in memory of the Rev. C. B. 
Knight, who died in 1867. 

In the spring of 1871 an alteration of the seats was made, 
and the old pews put in by Bulstrode and Elizabeth Knight 
in 1733 were cut down to the height of an ordinary bench. A 
new heating apparatus was also put in, and proved the cause 
of a great catastrophe ; for on the morning of the Sunday in 
March 1871 on which the Church was to be reopened for service, 
it was found to be in flames, and in a few hours the whole of 
the Nave, with its contents, except a small number of tablets 
in the east end of it, was destroyed. Fortunately the fire 



was subdued before it reached the Chancel, which was 
but little injured. There is no doubt that the conflagra- 
tion was occasioned by overheating the flue round which 
ran an oak dado, recently varnished and therefore very 

The work of rebuilding was taken in hand at once, and 
Mr. (afterwards Sir Arthur) Blomfield was asked to supply 
designs for a new nave (with tower at the south-west corner 
of it), north aisle and vestry. The work was again entrusted 
to Messrs. Dyer, and on the 20th July 1872 the Church was 
reopened by Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester. 
It is built of rough flints interspersed with red sandstone, 
and fitted with Bath stone coigns, and is in the early decorated 
style. The tower is eighty feet high with eight crocketed 
pinnacles, four large and four small. Just below the battle- 
ments are shields in relief, two on each side. Four of them 
bear the coats-of-arms of Knight, and of Hardy, Mr. Herbert 
.Hardy having contributed the greater part of the cost of the 
tower as a thank-offering on the birth of his eldest son. On 
the other four are : S.W. with a pastoral staff (the initials 
of the Bishop of Winchester), a ship, a Pelican in her Piety, 
and the Agnus Dei. Nine of the windows are filled with 
coloured glass ; the east window (by A. Gibbs) in memory of 
Adela, the wife of Edward Knight, who died in 1870 ; the south 
Chancel window (by Bell) in memory of Captain Benjamin 
Clement and Mary Anne his wife. 

The three south windows in the Nave are also memorials : 
the first, of the Rev. C. B. Knight, who died in 1867 after 



being Rector here thirty years ; the second, of Edmund 
Ernest Charles Wellesley, who died nth August 1886 ; and 
the third, of Emily Adeline Hardy, who died in 1877, and 
Marion her sister, who died in 1875, the window being erected 
by their sister, Mrs. Montagu Knight. The first and third 
windows are by Bell. 

The west window (by Hardman) was put up by the children 
of the late owner, Edward Knight (who died in 1879) in 
memory of their father. The monument of Edward Knight is 
on the south wall, with an inscription in the following terms : 

To the Memory of 

of this place and of Godmersham Park, 
Kent Esq're. Eldest son of Edward Austen Esq. 

afterwards Knight & Elizabeth Bridges 

his wife, who died Nov'r 5th 1879 aged 85 

He was High Sheriff for this county in 1823 

A Deputy Lieutenant & Justice of the 

Peace for Hampshire and Kent 

He married first MARY DOROTHEA daughter 

of the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bart., 

of Mersham Hatch Kent, She died 

Feb. 22nd. 1838 

& secondly ADELA 

eldest daughter of John Portal Esq., 

of Freefolk Priors in this County. 

She died June 28th, 1870 

Make them to be numbered with 
Thy Saints in Glory everlasting. 1 


1 A full description of all the other monuments in the Church will be 
found in Appendix IV. 


On the north side there are two windows by Kempe. One 
of these is to Marianne Knight, who died in 1896, aged ninety- 
five, and contains figures of St. Nicholas and St. Swithun, 
with the following Latin inscription on the glass : 

Mementote in Duo Marianna filia Edwardi Knight de 
Godmersham in Comitatu Cant et de Chawton armigeri 
nat XV to die Septembris, MDCCCI mort IV to die mensis 
Decembris MDCCCXCVI Hanc fenestra nepotes ei posuerut 

The other is to Lady Bradford, and contains repre- 
sentations of St. Luke and St. John, with the following 
inscription : 

We pray you remember in the Lord, ELIZABETH 

ADELA wife of Colonel Sir Edward Ridley 

Colborne Bradford, K.C.B., K.C.S.I. Daughter 

of Edward Knight of this place, Esq., born I3th. Feb. 

1841 died May 2ist 1896. 

Conjugi dilectae conjux rncerens 

Requiem aeternam dona ei Dne 
et lux perpetua luceat in 55 Amen. 

The small window near the Vestry is in memory of two 
of her children who died as infants in India, Daryl Colborne 
Bradford and Herbert Lewkenor Bradford. The rood screen 
was erected in memory of her eldest son, Montagu Edward, 
who died in 1890. 



There is a small brass fixed to a panel on the east side of 
it, with the following inscription : 

We pray you remember in the Lord, 

eldest son of Colonel Edward Ridley 
Colborne Bradford K.C.B., K.C.S.I. 

and of Elizabeth Adela his wife, 
who died at Calcutta Aug'st 22nd 1890 

aged 23. In loving 
recollection of whom this screen is dedicated. 

Grant him O Lord Eternal Rest & let 
Light perpetual shine on him. 

The arms on the brass are argent on a fesse sable three 
stags' heads erased, as borne before the grant of arms made 
at the time of the creation of the baronetcy, 1902. 

On the organ screen are two other brasses, recording 
the names of the two brothers in whose memory the screen 
was erected, who died in the same year. 

We pray you remember in the Lord 

Captain 2nd. Dragoon Guards, 
5th son of Edward Knight Esq., of this place 

and of Mary Dorothea his wife, 

Born Feb'y 3rd 1838, died at Winchester Nov. 4, 1896. 

He married in 1863 Louisa Octavia Charlotte daughter 

of Courtney Stacey Esq're of Sandling Place, Maidstone. 

Grant him Lord Eternal Rest & let 
Light perpetual shine on him. 



In the coat-of-arms Knight, Austen and Leigh quarterly 
are empaled with Stacey : az. on a fesse between three falcons 
or as many fleurs de lis sa. 

We pray you remember in the Lord, 
HENRY JOHN KNIGHT. Lt. Col. ist Seaforth 
Highlanders youngest son of Edward Knight Esq. 

of this place and of Adela his wife 
born March 6th 1848 died at Grasse Feb. 27, 1896 

Lord all pitying Jesu Blest 
Grant him Thine Eternal Rest. 

On the shield are the arms of Knight, Austen and Leigh 

The Altar-piece was given in 1899 as a thank-offering for 
the recovery of Mrs. Montagu Knight from a severe illness in 
1895-6. It is in the form of a triptych of carved oak partially 
gilded. In the centre panel is a picture of the Crucifixion by 
Agostino Caracci ; the two side panels are filled with figures of 
the four Latin Fathers St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, 
and St. Gregory. It was designed by G. F. Bodley, as were 
also the rood screen and organ case and screen. 

The Altar candlesticks were presented to Chawton Church 
in 1867 in memory of Captain Benjamin Clement and his 
wife, previously mentioned. On the foot of the Altar cross is 
engraved : 

Remember we pray you in the Lord GEORGINA 
CASSANDRA, dearly beloved only daughter of the 

Rev'd Charles Edward Knight, Rector 
born I5th. Jan'y 1879 died Mar. nth. 1898. 



The next inscription is of a somewhat different nature : 

To the Glory of God 

In Memory of 


who fell asleep 

at Chawton House, 

on the 4th August, 1883, 

Two of the ancient Bells of 

This Parish 

were erected in the Belfry 
and four new Bells were dedicated 
to the service of Almighty God. 

We have seen how the Church was threatened in 1748 
with the loss of two of its bells. The inscription we have just 
given records the addition of Three new Bells, and the re- 
casting of one of the pre-Reformation ones. The six bells 
now bear the following inscriptions : 

1. Sancta Maria ora pro nobis 

2. Henry Knight made mee 1621 

3. Her children rise up and call her blessed 

4. Her husband also and he praiseth her 

5. We praise Thee O God 

6. O come let us worship. 

The Altar plate consists of the following pieces : 
i. A Silver Flagon with lid dated 1641, with this inscription 
on it : ' Ex dono Ricardi Knight Armigeri de Chawton in 
Comitatu Southton. Datum Ecclesise Parochiali de Chawton 
praedict. in usum Administrations Sacramenti ccense Domini.' 
It bears the arms of Knight vert a bend lozengy or. 

2. A 



2. A large Paten, with the arms of the donor in the centre, 
viz. ist and 4th Knight, 2nd and 3rd az. three chevrons argent 
for Lewkenor, and on a shield of pretence argent, between 
three martlets, a chevron sa. for Martin. Round this is 
engraved : ' The Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Knight to Chawton 
Church in Hampshire 1724.' 

3. A Chalice with Paten cover dated 1667. 

4. A Silver Alms-dish, bearing the following inscription : 
' Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy. 
To the Glory of God & In memory of George Wolfe. Presented 
to S. Nicholas Church, Chawton, Cheshire (sic) 1883.' 


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IE have seen that Domesday Book describes 
Chawton as having been occupied in the time 
of Edward the Confessor by Oda. This Oda 
(though probably an Englishman) heads the list 
of Hampshire thanes under William the Conqueror ; but the 
King, though giving him other manors as a compensation, made 
him surrender Chawton to a Norman follower, Hugh de Port. 
Hugh de Port seems to have been a man of piety as well as 
energy, who ended his days as a monk at Winchester. His 



descendants (as we have seen above) held Chawton in direct 
male line from father to son for nearly three hundred years ; 
and thereafter in the female line until the middle of the 
sixteenth century. 

That century saw the rise of the Knight family, and the 
passing of the estates by purchase. 

We have already said that the Knights had for some time 
occupied a position of importance in the parish, and that 
William Knight had a lease of the ' cite of the Manor Place.' 

William Knight's will (which was proved on the 4th of 
May 1546) is in the following terms : 

' In the name of God Amen 

the xxix th day of November in the yere of our Lord God 
MV C XLV I William Knyght the elder of Chawton in the Countie 
of Southton beyng hoole and perfectte of mynd and reason do 
order and make thys my last wyll or testament in forme and 
maner folowyng Fyrst and Princypally I giff and bequethe 
my solle to Almyghtty God, to his Mother Saynt Mary, and to 
all the blessyd Saynts in heavyn and my Boody to be buryed 
in the Church of Chawton aforesayd. Item to the Mother 
Church of Winchester im d . Item to the Hyghe Auter in my 
Parych Church of Chawton xn d . Item to the settyng up of a 
wyndow in the West end of the sayd Church of Chawton and 
in Reappeassyng of xm nn d . y' I dyd owe to the Church XL*. 
Item to the Paryche Church of Faryndon xn d . Item to 
Thomas Knyght my sone xx s . Item to R Knyght my sone 
xx s . Item to Thomas Locke X s . Item to Wat r Sextten of Alton 
X s . Item to every poore householder in Chawton im d . The 



rest of all my goods or detts I giff & bequethe to John Knyght 
the younger my son which John I order and make executor of 
this my testament or last wyll.' 

The lease granted to William Knight had been for forty- 
five years ; but soon after his death, viz. in 1548, a fresh 
lease was granted to his son John l (known as John Knight the 
younger) for the longer term of sixty years. It soon became 
evident, however, that he was not content to remain in the 
position of lessee. The family were now in a position to buy 
instead of renting, and Lord La Warr was quite ready to sell ; 
but the intending purchaser showed a prudent hesitation to 
complete the transaction, as will be seen by the following 
letter. The year in which the letter was written is not stated, 
but we know from the purchase deed that the transaction was 
carried through in 1551 : 

' To my Frend John Knyght, fermer of Chawton, Knyght, 
I hartely commend me to yowe thanking yowe for yo'r kynd- 
nesse shewed to me. Yf God send me lyfe I shall deserve hit. 
And according to y'r desier I have caused my Surveyor to 
ryde by yowe and converse tochynge the graunte of yo'r ferme 
in Fee ferme the which as I have shewed yowe I wylnot 
graunte under ix** " beside the Tenements and Copyholds 
& the patronage of the Benefice but I am content ye shall have 
with yt the two copieholds that ye have nowe, so that I maye 
have the monye payed at such dayes as my Surveyer shall 


1 The will of this John Knight is missing ; but in Appendix V will be 
found (a) the will of ' John Knight the elder,' who was perhaps the uncle of 
his namesake ; (6) the will of Nicholas Knight, son of John Knight the younger. 

L 2 


show yowe. And I have sent Cottysmore my Serv nt w th hym 
to brynge me word what answer ye make, for yf ye do not 
conclude now ther is another that wyll have hit and will 
gyve xx u more then I aske of yowe. Wherfor I pray send me 
a playne answer of yo r mynd nowe yf ye will have hit and 
that ye will speke w lh Mr. Marvyn the Judge that he walke 
here in the afterweke to take my knolege, for yt must be done 
this terme. Wherfor I praye you deferr me no longer yf ye 
will have hit and to gyve credence to my serv' as my trust ys 
in yowe from Offyngton on the xx daye of Marche. You r 

lovyng frend, 



One hundred and eighty pounds does not seem a large sum 
to pay for what had carried a rent of 25 ; but the transaction 
was not such a simple affair as this would imply. Two or 
three years before, the lease to William Knight had been 
renewed to John at the same rent of 25, but with the additional 
payment of a fine of 70. Now the purchaser paid for a 
larger property than had been included in the lease a capital 
sum of 180, and also continued, by way of annuity, the yearly 
payment of 25. 

This yearly payment came to an end in 1578, when Nicholas 
Knight, the son of John, purchased the Manor and advowson 



from the representatives of Thomas Arundell, to whom the 
West family had sold them, paying for these, and for the 
extinction of the annuity, the sum of 720 ; but this purchase 
was also subject to the payment of a jointure to the widow of 
Thomas Arundell. 

Nicholas had married in the year 1560 Elizabeth Standen, 
daughter and heiress of John Standen, of East Lavant in 
Sussex, yeoman, and on his marriage the ' scyte ' of the Manor 
was settled on him by his father John. 

He had now achieved the position of lord of the Manor, 
patron of the advowson, and owner of the greater part of the 
parish. He added to these possessions the Manor of Trun- 
cheaunts (in Alton parish) which he bought of Robert and 
John Gage just before his death. His will shows him to 
have been possessed also of landed property in Sussex, which 
must have come to him through his wife. It is the will of a 
rich man, richer than his parents, who survived him, and who, 
according to his special instructions, were to be tenderly 
cared for ; and the will of a man who cared for the education 
of his sons and daughters, which was to be continued till they 
were grown up. But he did not long enjoy his advantages, 
as he died in the prime of life in 1583, leaving a large family. 

His son John, the principal builder of the Manor House, 
as it at present stands, is an important figure in the family 
history. But what and where was the house in which 
his father and grandfather had lived ? That a house had 
long existed is shown by the grant of oak timber from 
Alice Holt Forest in 1223 to William de St. John towards 



making a house in his Manor of Chawton, and in 1524 William 
Knight obtained a lease of the ' cite ' of the Manor Place. 
This ' cite ' must have been a house, for it is stipulated that 


the rent is to be paid at it ; and apparently it was an obligation 
on the tenant to find for the officers of the Manor, ' man's mete 
horse mete and loggyng twys in the yere ii nights and one 
day yerely during the said term,' a stipulation not uncommon 
in old leases, such as those granted by Colleges and other 
Corporations where the landlord was necessarily non-resident, 
and where the tenant occupied the manor house. That 
house can hardly have been anywhere else than in the situation 
which it at present occupies. Both the proximity of the 
Church, and also the position of the Moat on the side of the 
house towards the Church (a moat which John Knight took 
endless trouble to fill up) point to the ' cite ' which is still used. 
But it was to be expected that the new owners, who seem to have 
been masters of a good deal of ready cash, should undertake 
the work of enlarging and remodelling the old dwelling. Nicholas 
hardly lived long enough to begin the work, but his son John 
made it one of the chief occupations of his life. 

We have, however, very little evidence of his activity as a 
house bxiilder, during the first ten years of his ownership, 




except an iron fire back in the hall with J.K. 1588 on it. Indeed, 
during this part of his life he seems to have devoted his building 
energy chiefly to the completion of the stables, on which the 
date 1593 is given. From this time onwards a long list of 
entries in his accounts shows that he was constantly engaged 
in carrying out alterations and extensions to the Manor House. 

Any person looking at that house as it now stands, with 
the characteristic shape of Elizabethan mansions in his mind, 
might be tempted to draw the conclusion that it was intended 
to follow the shape of the letter E, but that little beyond one 
wing, the central projection, and the connecting line, was built, 
or at least that nothing else survives. 

We fear, however, that this attractive idea must be 
abandoned ; for such a plan could hardly have entered into the 
thoughts of the pre-Elizabethan designers of the original 
house, and certainly the completion of such a scheme did not 
commend itself to John Knight, who enlarged the building 
only slightly to the South, while his main additions were to 
the East. A careful examination of the exterior (now rendered 
possible by the removal of the stucco with which it was 
covered in 1837) shows a division into two strongly marked 
types. Of these the older is characterised by 3-foot walls of 
flint-work and stone, some of the stones indicating by their 
mouldings that they had been used in an even more ancient 
edifice, some too showing signs of having been subject to fire ; 
the more recent consists of less substantial walls of the same 
materials, but faced with brickwork, and adorned with stone 





It is natural to connect the latter type with John Knight, 
and if this inference is correct we shall see that he found a 
building containing a porch with a tower above it, a hall 
answering to the present drawing-room, another room at right 
angles to the hall corresponding to the dining-room, and spaces 
over each only partially divided and fitted up into bedrooms. 


The upper floor was no doubt approached by the staircase 
which still leads up to the Tapestry Gallery, and was evidently 
protected by a dog-gate at the top of the steps, some of the 
ironwork of which still survives. John Knight must also have 







found and demolished some sort of kitchen ; probably a low 
building abutting on the E. wall of the Great Hall. The 
present wood cupboard may possibly mark the position of the 
kitchen fireplace, as it occupies the basement of a disused 
chimney, the shaft of which still remains. 

His constructive work seems to have included the following : 
He heightened the porch tower, and indeed all the west front, with 
a brick parapet above the flint, and extended to the south the 
main line of building which had previously ended at the porch. 
This extension, while it provided an additional room, neces- 
sitated an alteration in the entrance to the house, as the passage 
from the old doorway would have led straight into the new 
room. An excrescence therefore to the height of the first floor 
was built on the left side of the porch, through which a doorway 
led into a passage inserted between the screen and the new room. 
In a line with his southern extension he built a new eastern 
wing which included the main staircase and the library or 
parlour (first mentioned in his accounts in 1597) with rooms 
above. Having also built a new kitchen wing at the north 
end, he connected that side of the house with his new south- 
eastern part by a passage on both floors, the upper one obviat- 
ing the necessity of treating the bedrooms as passages. The bed- 
rooms over the dining-room were probably fitted up by him ; 
they are called ' new ' in 1614. His new passage from north to 
south provided space for attics above. The dining-room itself 
must have been completely altered about the same time. It 
had a new floor, a new ceiling, wainscoting with pilasters, new 
windows (besides repairs to the old ' outset ' or oriel window 
at the upper end of the room which has now disappeared), 




and a door to the north, outside of which was a staircase 
going down to the north of the house. 1 The destination 
of the great hall (the present drawing-room) had perhaps 
been left vague. Now we hear of the purchase of the ' apparrell 
of a chimney for the room appointed for a Hall ' (no doubt the 
existing stone frame of the fireplace) for which i6s. 8d. was 
paid. A ' study ' and ' armoury ' are also mentioned, but 
cannot now be identified. A door on the south side of the 
house led into a fore-court, and it was no doubt on this side that 
a formal garden with ' squares ' was levelled, on the sloping 
ground, led up to by a flight of steps. Higher up (probably) 
than the garden lay the orchard ; there was a great alley 
below it, and a ' bowlling alley ' within it. There seems, 
however, to have been another ' old orchard ' against the 
chancel of the Church, and we hear of one (whether the same 
as the last, or a third) next to the moat. A gate and paling 
were set up below, next to the highway, and within this a 
bridge was built : probably over a stream at the lowest part 
of the Churchyard which now flows only intermittently. We 
have seen that the handsome stables which bear the date of 
J 593 were already standing ; brew-house, milk-house, well- 
house and pigeon-house are also mentioned. 

One constant adjunct of a manor house of that date does 
not figure in the accounts, viz. a secret chamber or hiding-place ; 
but perhaps John Knight did not consider this addition 
necessary, as at least one such was already in existence. When 
the flagstaff was put up on the roof for the coronation of King 


1 This wainscoting, having got into bad repair, was taken down early in 
the nineteenth century, but the room has since been wainscoted afresh. 

M 2 


Edward VII, a shaft was discovered in the thickness of the 
wall having an outlet under the tiles. The owner caused 
himself to be let down into it, and found that it descended in 
a sloping direction, through a thick wall dividing two rooms, 
and ended about three feet below the floor of the rooms. Here 
it widened out like a bottle, and was roomy enough to hold 
more than one person. 

Such was the Manor House after its remodelling by John 
Knight, as far as we are able to identify it on the evidence 
before us. It seems to have included all the present house ; 
excepting of course the billiard-room wing and addition to the 
offices, which are known to belong to the nineteenth century. 
On the strength of the date 1655 carved in the wainscot on one 
internal door, it has been conjectured that considerable additions 
were made in the middle of the seventeenth century, and, in 
particular, that the principal staircase, in the south of the 
house, is of that period. But in 1655, and for twelve or 
thirteen years before that, the property was owned by a minor, 
and his guardians were very unlikely to embark upon any 
ambitious schemes ; while very soon after that date the Jacobean 
style, in which Chawton is built, yielded to the influence of 
the French style, which is not represented there. It seems 
probable, therefore, that the main features of the house as we 
know it were impressed upon it by more or less continuous 
operations carried out during the end of the sixteenth and the 
early years of the seventeenth centuries. These operations 
seem to have been continued to the close of the builder's life, 
and the following extract from a letter written to him in 1619 



by the Rector of the Parish, Richard Mason, shows that 
they were sometimes attended by a little temporary incon- 
venience. ' Concerning your intended partition in the Great 
Chamber, twixt the wainscott Chamber and the Chamber 
over the Butterie. I have heard my ladie speake y' shee 
would wish itt done before shee is to make a bedd to be 
sett in the next Chamber, y' is the new wainscott Chamber, 
of very great value and curious working which is not (after sett 
up) to bee withoutt very great trouble removed or taken downe, 
and shee feareth that the knocking in the next roome will 
force downe much dust and annoiance unto the same.' 

Besides the entries which relate to house-building schemes, 
John Knight's accounts contain items which tell us something 
of the life of the time, and show how very human, after all, 
our forefathers were, in spite of their stiff ruffled collars. 
From the accounts, and from the correspondence exchanged 

between him and his brother Stephen, who 

lived in London, a history of his life may 
be pieced together. He married Mary, 
the daughter of William Neale, but it 
appeared that he looked upon her conduct 
with some suspicion and was not particu- 


larly attached to his daughter. The AT. a fess gu., in chief 

two crescents of the and, 

daughter married, however, a man of m base a bugienom of 

the last stringed vert. 

position John, son of Sir George Gounter, 
of Racton near Chichester. She did not live long, for in 
1617 we find the son-in-law writing to proclaim her virtues 
and excuse himself for seeking a successor. ' I having lost,' 



he says, ' your daughter which have bin a great greafe to me, 
by reason she was so loving, so vertius, so honest and so 
faithful unto me, and nowe she beeing gone, and I having 
lost a great part of my estate thereby, and beeing left 
desolate, for want of her companie, and indepted, it hath 
made mee undertake that which I would not have entered 
into,' &c. He had, in fact, ' sollicited a young gentelwoman 
which is woarth a thousand pounds,' besides further prospects. 
Whatever might have been his opinion as to the conduct of 
his wife, John Knight remained on excellent terms with her 
family. During the building of his house he was constantly 
staying at the Neales' house at Warnford twelve miles distant, 
and when Chawton was fit to receive them, Sir Thomas Neale 
and his wife came there ; in December 1603 ' a couple of rabets ' 
were bought for their dinner. Later on, Sir Francis Neale, 
and his wife, seem to have occupied the house for some time. 

John Knight maintained his position as squire ; he sealed 
his letters with a coat-of-arms ; l he subscribed 50 to the 
Queen on the Spanish invasion ; he attended musters at 
Winchester, The Barnet, and Robin Hood 
Butts ; he assisted in the dispatch of 
soldiers to Ireland ; he served as High 
Sheriff in 1609. Later on, however 
(1616-18), he declined to serve on the 
KNIGHT Commission of the Peace. We have 

vert a bend iczengy or. already mentioned his care for his brother 
Stephen and Stephen's son John, whom he treated as his heir. 


1 For a note on the Knight Arms see Appendix VI. 


The accounts of 1618 give a long list of expenses of young John 
at the age of twelve. Latin dictionary and exercise books, 
and Ovid's ' Metamorphoses ' figure among the purchases. 

The following extracts from letters which passed between 
the brothers will speak for themselves ; and the occasional 
allusions, amid the multiplicity of family details, to events 
of historical importance, will not escape the reader. The 
letters were all written between 1616 and 1618 they are nearly 
all dated ' Warnford.' 

8th November 1616. ' I have a gowne or 2 in the chest 
at St. Bartholomew's that are faced with furr. I doubt the 
mothes have donne them much hurtt, I fynd it so heere in 
a gowne in the country.' 

loth January 1616. ' The imperfection you speak of in 
your son's speach, I have not at any time observed, butt that 
in speaking he doth lyspe. I hope he be long since come 
from you and att Froyle.' 

i8th February 1616. ' Mr. Nicholas Hyde (as I understand) 
is our Reader of the Middle Temple this Lent. He is a gentle- 
man that I have reason extraordinarilly to respect, wherefore 
I praie you goe unto him a daie or two before the beginning 
of the readinge and deliver my commendations and therewith 
a brace of good suger loofes as a token of my love and tell him 
if his readinge had hapened in Summer it should have been 
a buck.' 

In March 1616 there seems to have been a fear lest Stephen 
should lose his post in the Petty Bag Office, owing to the 
resignation of the Master. His brother thinks he will find 
means to keep it, ' and I wish you should doe so, rather than 



be at libertie and having nothing to do.' He adds : ' I pray 
you send me the speach that the Kinge last made in the Star 
chamber against two gentlemen that challenged one another 
to fight, it is sayed to be in printt.' One can imagine the 
self-satisfaction of James I over this speech, and his haste 
to have it published. 

Another letter of March contains some interesting intelli- 
gence : ' The news heere is thatt the Lord Chancellor hath 
left his place in the Chancery, and Sir Francis Bacon is Lord 
Keeper.' This news is supplemented by a letter in April : 
' The country newes is, that the newe Lord Chief Justice is 
lately dead in the West Country, but that the late Lord 
Chancellor left the scale much against his will the same being 
commanded and taken from him by the King.' 

In May he writes respecting his nephew, and his intention 
of moving him to a schoolmaster at Basingstoke whom he had 
heard well spoken of ; but he wishes Stephen to make further 
inquiries. They were apparently answered satisfactorily, 
for in the following January he writes : ' Your son was very 
well on Thursdaie last when I then sent to Basingstoke, the 
which I did the rather for that his usage at Froyle was not to- 
my liking. Since I last wrote unto you I have heard very 
well of his new master and Mrs. and doe hope he shall be there 
very well used.' 

He had time to think also about his own costume, for in 
the same month he writes : ' If Mr. Johnson shall have occasion 
of coming into this country the next Vacation I would gladly 
have his helpe to cut shorter a cloake or 2 that I have lying 
by me which do me noe service, for that they are over long 



and outt of fashion.' On ist May 1618 he proposed to attend 
the Serjeants at the end of term : ' To bestowe on them 
a fatt capon for their supper, And I would have Mr. Serjeant 
Harvye sett his stomake very sharp against that time, and 
I will then deliver unto him my mind and opinion att large 
of the partie he wots of.' 

On igth May he returns to the subject : ' I marvayle more 
that the Serjeant and yourself e (considering the manner of my 
writing) did not perceive whatt my mind was of the partie 
then questioned. Were he nott a Serjeant and a learned one 
he should be my cozen Ignoramy, and you Dullman his 

He then goes on to speak of the supposed intention of 
Sir Francis Neale to leave Chawton ; which, as he was writing 
himself from Warnford, looks as if they had exchanged houses. 
He adds : ' Get for me either for love or money, a piece of 
very good black satten, as broade and as longe as your hand 
will serve my turne, itt is to amend a mischance lately happened 
to a black satten doublett I have.' 

On I3th July he writes as follows : ' Brother, I hope you 
are safely returned from Oxford ; I know I shall not need to 
putt you in minde of y'r performance of the contents of my 
former letters. On Wednesdaie last my Lo: Chiefe Baron 
dined at Sir Tho: Stewkleys, where among others I was. Itt 
pleased his Lo: kindly to salute me, and between jest and 
ernest (as I conceived) he took excepcions that I did not shine 
in my country as others did (meaning in Commission of the 
Peace). I gave his Lo: some reasons to which he replied nott, 
but nodded his head and said nothinge more to thatt ; but 



shortly after I understood by a friend or two, that he hadd 
a meaninge to deliver my name to my Lo: Chancellor for thatt 
purpose. I praie you when time shall serve hearken after itt 
and use some meanes as heretofore you have done to kepe me 
from that dignitie.' 

In a letter of gth October 1618, after giving details about 
a sword and a watch he adds : ' The country news is, thatt 
Sir Walter Rawleye is executed.' 

Two extracts from letters from Stephen to John (written 
shortly before the death of the latter in February 1620-21) 
will complete the correspondence between the brothers. 

yd May 1620. ' The King's Attorney, Sir Henry Yelverton, 
hath lately been questioned about some error committed in 
passing some grant for the City of London & there hath been 
speeches that he shall be displaced, & be made but a Punye 
Judge at the least, but that news beginneth to wax cold again 
& It is also said that the marriage between the Marquis of 
Wine: & my lord of Rutland's daughter doth go on & that it 
will shortly be performed.' 

27th December, 1620. ' There is still a great expectation 
of the great Mounsor from France who is expected at London 
either tonight or tomorrow. I hear of a proclamation that 
is come forth concerning such as are talkers of state business 
and reporters of news : if I can get one I will send him now, 
if not by the next return. So wishing you all pleasure which 
these times can afford I rest,' &c. 

There is not much more to be said of Stephen, who succeeded 
on his brother's death, except that he served the office of High 
Sheriff in 1622 and died in 1627, leaving, by Judith his wife, 


a family of two sons and three daughters. 1 For some time 
after his death the family was not strongly represented. His 
son John (of whose schooling we have heard) was then barely 
of age. After attaining his majority, and filling his place 
as a squire for some years, he became insane, and died in 


1636. On ist November 1634 James Sessions, Clerk, A.M., 
entered upon the rectory of Chawton, upon the presentation 
of King Charles, by reason of the lunacy of John Knight. 
John was succeeded in the estate by his brother Richard, 
who married in September 1638 Elizabeth, daughter of John 
Fielder of Burrow Court, and died in 1641-2, leaving a son 
Richard, only two years old. This absence of a settled headship 
in the Knight family during the stirring years which followed 


may account for their not taking a prominent part in the Civil 
War. They did indeed, as we have seen, show their sympathy 
with the King's adherents by making several contributions 
towards the support of the besieged garrison of Basing House ; 
but John Knight (the builder) would probably have done much 


1 Extracts from the wills of John and Stephen Knight will be found in 
Appendix VII. 


more than this. He might even have taken the field when the 
fighting came so near as Alton. It was there that, at the 
beginning of 1643, Prince Rupert's horsemen just failed to 
catch a party of two hundred troopers ; and, later in the same 
year, the town was fortified by the cavaliers and taken by Sir 
William Waller's troops, in spite of the gallant defence of the 
Church and Churchyard by Colonel Bolles. The movement 
of the Parliamentary troops which gradually pushed the 
Royalists westward was, in fact, actively proceeding through 
this part of the country. 

Young Richard's mother Elizabeth managed his property 
till 1649, w h en she married Azariah Husbands of Hocksley Hall, 
Essex. We wonder whether she and her boy were looking out 
on the 2Oth of December 1648 when Charles I came by, guarded 
by a strong body of troops, on his last sad journey from Hurst 
Castle to Windsor. 1 The Council of Officers had ordered his 
removal ' in order to the bringing of him speedily to justice,' 
and had sent down Harrison on this mission. The night of 
the i gth December was spent by Charles at Winchester, ' where 
he received a hearty welcome from the Mayor and the citizens ' ; 
an expression of loyalty for which they had afterwards to 
apologise humbly to the Council. He was taken thence to 
Farnham on the next day, and his road must have lain 
through Chawton village and onward until, three or four 
miles short of Farnham, he descried a fresh party of 
horse drawn up to receive him. The officer in command 
was Harrison, who had preceded the cavalcade from Hurst 
Castle, and whose smart soldierly bearing deluded the un- 

1 Gardiner's History of the Great Civil War, iii. 547, &c. 




fortunate monarch into thinking that he was less hostile 
than he really proved to be. 

The shifting politics of the middle of the seventeenth 
century are well exemplified in two entries taken from the 
Chawton churchwardens' accounts: '1651. Paid to him 
that strooke out the King's armes 55.' ' 1665. Paid to the 
ringers for ringing when the King came by is.' 


(Jet and enamel with pearl tear-drop.) 

At the Restoration, when Richard was barely of age, his 
name appears in the list of those selected for the proposed new 
order of Knights of the Royal Oak. The idea of founding this 
order was subsequently abandoned by the King, on the ground 
that it would perpetuate the distinction between Royalists and 
Roundheads ; but Richard received the honour of knighthood 
on the loth of January 1667, soon after his marriage to Priscilla, 
sole daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Reynolds of Elvetham. 
If we may go so far as to believe his epitaph, Sir Richard 





Knight was a person worth commemorating. Honourable as 
his position was, he was (according to this authority) fitted 
for something higher. He had polished his manners, and 
extended his acquaintance, by a residence abroad, while 


retaining his love for his native country. Himself a highly 
cultured man, he was also a patron of artists. In 1679, when 
he was forty years old, he strove for the parliamentary repre- 
sentation of his county, but died before the election was 
completed, having been owner for thirty-eight years out of 
the forty of his life. He left no children ; 
and with him the direct male line of 
Knights came to an end. 1 

In the chapters which follow we shall 
endeavour to bring before the reader some- 
thing of the history, and some of the 
characteristics, of the families whose des- 
cendants, after the date which we have 
reached, either owned Chawton, or exercised 
an important influence on its devolution. It should be pre- 
mised that every successive owner took the name of Knight. 
The families are as follows : 

(i) The Martins of Ensham in Oxfordshire had intermarried 
with the Knights, and the three next owners two 

brothers and a sister belonged to that family. 

(2) A 

1 On the death of Sir Richard Knight an inventory was taken of the 
contents of the house, which will be found in Appendix VIII. 


Quarterly, ist and 4th, 
vert a bend lozengy or ; 
2nd and 3rd per chevron 
ar. and sa. three cinque- 
foils counterchanged. 


(2) A daughter of the ancient Sussex house of Lewkenor 

was married to the father of these three owners ; and 
the third of them, Elizabeth (and her cousin William 
Woodward whom she married), became the repre- 
sentatives of these Lewkenors, whose property they 

(3) A daughter of the Sussex family of May a family very 

prominent in the seventeenth century married a 
Lewkenor from whom Elizabeth and her husband were 
descended ; and another of the same stock married 
Thomas Brodnax of Godmersham near Canterbury, 
and brought some of the May property into that family. 

(4) The Brodnaxes were therefore connected, through the 

Mays, with the Lewkenors, and thus also with their 
representatives at Chawton. Mrs. Elizabeth Knight, 
mentioned above, having no obvious heir, left the 
property to them. 

(5) A daughter of the Kent family of Austen was grand- 

mother to the Thomas Brodnax who succeeded to 
Chawton. His son, having no issue, selected one 
of the Austens as his successor. 

It will thus be seen that Martins, Brodnaxes, and Austens all 
in turn became owners of Chawton, while Lewkenors and Mays 
were not only important links between them, but also left 
property to the owners. 




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HE ancient and honourable family of Lewkenor 
had long been prominent in the history of 
Sussex. In the middle ages they had held many 
important posts under the Crown, had made 
great marriages, and acquired large landed possessions. The 
particular branch of the family with which we are concerned 
descended from Roger, younger son of Sir Roger Lewkenor 
of Trotton. Sir Roger died in 1477. His great-grandson, 
Sir Richard, Chief Justice of Chester, who died in 1616 aged 
seventy-six, settled at Westdean, near Chichester, and built 


a house which has been incorporated in the modern mansion. 
The tradition in the family is that the judge did not intend to 
build this house in the position which it eventually occupied, 
where the land was held under a Church lease. He had, 
however, prepared all the materials, and his wife began the 
construction of the house while he was away on circuit. 

The monument in Westdean Church, 
a reproduction of which faces page 97, is 
a memorial to three generations of Lewke- 
nors. The first, the Chief Justice, who here 
lies recumbent, outlived his son, another 
Richard, who kneels at his feet. This 

LEWKENOR SQn had & large f arm ly an d fllC eldest 

Az. three chevrons ar. J ' 

of these, a third Richard, who kneels 
behind his father, was (as we are told in a free translation 
of the Latin inscription on the tomb) ' by the concurrent Love 
and Affection of Sussex advanced to Great Eminence, when 
he was made Justice of ye Peace, and one of ye Quorum,' 
Deputy-Lieutenant, ' and often chosen Member of Parliament.' 
This Richard was father and grandfather to two John Lewke- 
nors, with the latter of whom the male line of his branch came 
to an end. His younger brother, Christopher, was Recorder 
of Chichester, and grandfather of three successive owners of 

Christopher Lewkenor l was a principal actor in the gallant 
but unsuccessful attempt to hold the city of Chichester for 
King Charles, against the troops of Sir William Waller, in the 


1 At Chawton there are portraits of six Lewkenors of various generations, 
including the portrait of Christopher Lewkenor which faces this page. 


winter of 1642. At the beginning of the Civil War, the King's 
forces were completely outnumbered in the south-eastern parts 
of England; but they endeavoured to hold a few fortified places 
in these districts. It appears that Chichester, like Winchester, 
had been in the hands of the Parliament at the commencement 
of the war, but that both had afterwards opened their gates 
to small parties of the King's troops. It was Waller's duty to 
re-take the two cities. He succeeded in making himself master 
of Winchester on December 13, 1642, and then proceeded to 
Chichester. The defenders of that city, though it was, as 
Clarendon says, ' incompass'd with a very good old wall ' and 
' could hardly have been taken from them,' were weakened by 
want of provisions and by the doubtful loyalty of the citizens, 
and were obliged to avail themselves of the Royal permission 
to make terms with the assailants. The course of events will 
be best gathered from the report which was subsequently made 
to King Charles, a MS. of which exists at Chawton House. 
The Report is as follows : 


' A true declaration made by the Governo r officers Gentlemen 
& other soldiers of y e Citty of Chichester concerning the 
besiedginge and yieldinge upp of the said Cittye. 

' On Friday night beinge the sixteenth of December wee 
received intelligence that the enemy (under Sr. William Waller's 
comaund) that night quartered at a place called Havaunt in 
Hampshire, beinge seaven miles distant from Chichester with 
an intention (as was informed) to meete other forces under the 
conduct of Colonell Morley & Sr. Michaell Linesey and so 

to beseidge Chichester. 


O 2 


' On the Saturday followinge some of Sr. William Waller's 
forces advanced to a place foure miles of Chi Chester called 
Funtington and there delivered warrants to the constables 
to provide a great quantity of Gates butter cheese etc against 
the next night for Sr. William Waller's provision, and that 
night those forces quartered there and the residue the next 
day (being Sunday) advanced and were quartered in Funtington, 
Ashlinge, Racton, Lordington and other places thereabouts 
the farthest of those places being about six miles distant from 

' On Munday next about noone, we from the Citty walls 
discovered Morleys forces marchinge over an eminent hill 
called Saint Rookes hill in three distinct bodies this hill is 
about three miles distant from Chichester. Uppon this the 
Governo" caused certain gentlemen to issue forth in the nature 
of scouts to discover of what force the enemy was, how pro- 
vided with ordnance and ammunition and which way they 
steered their course. Att the returne of these Gent: they 
related that Morley's forces (then appearing) were not above 
400 men and that they had with them three or foure pieces of 
ordnance and they inclined their course towards Sir William 
Waller's quarter. And this night they gave an Alarm. On 
Tuesday they approached neare the Citty viz within half 
a mile thereof uppon a place called Broyle heath and in our 
apprehensions they appeared to bee foure hundred horse. 

' Hereuppon Colonell Linsey (uppon advise & with direction) 
was dispatched with a party of horse and Dragoners to discover 
(if possible) the certenty of theyr force who observinge there 



were one thousand horse and Dragoners more (then first 
appeared) behind a wood growinge uppon on side of the Broyle 
heath, he made his retraite towards the Citty and beinge pursued 
by the enemy, after a small skirmish wherein we had a Dragoner 
taken prisoner and they a horse shott (but what other hurt 
wee cannot certainly learne) hee with the rest of his company 
recovered the citty. 

' After this the enemy appeared betwixt the citty and the 
aforenamed wood and from thence lett fly some seaven or 
eight peeces of ordnance towards the north port of the Citty 
after the discharge of these peeces, Sr. William Waller sent 
a trumpeter with a message the effect whereof was this, viz., 
to lett us know that Sr. William Waller had commission from 
the Parlam' to take in the Citty of Chichester and in case wee 
did not surrender it to beat it downe to the ground, however 
to spare the effusion of Christian bloud he desired to have a 
parlie with us. 

' To this message the Governo" answered that since a parly 
was desired, they should not refuse to admitt of it provided 
the persons hee sent to treat with them, were such as were not 
excepted against in or by any of his Maj ties declaracons or 
proclamations and that there might be a cessation of Armes 
duringe the par lye. The Trumpeter departed and immediately 
brought word that Sir William Waller was contented to treat 
uppon those tearmes & resolved to send Sergeant Major Gary 
and Captain Carr being persons not excepted against by name 
in any of his Maj ts declaracons or proclamacons with this 
further that wee should not send any persons out to them 



which were declared delinquents by Parlam' to which we 
answered that wee should send Colonell Linsey and Lieutenant 
Colonell Porter neither of them by name being declared 
delinquents by Parlam'. Uppon this, within lesse then halfe 
an hower hostages were exchanged and Sergant Major Gary 
from Sir William Waller brought us propositions in wrightinge 
subscribed with his owne name and the name of Capt. Carr 
and these were the propositions : 

' i. An absolute surrender of the Towne. 

' 2. A delivery of the Sherife and other delinquents voted 

in Parliament and all Papists. 
' 3. For the soldiers they shall freely march without collours 

or Armes. 

' 4. For the officers they shall each of them have their 
swords and one horse and after swearinge not to serve 
any more against the King & Parlam' shall have 
their free liberty. 

' These being the propositions wee found some entertainnr 
for y e gentlemen that brought them whilst a Counsell of Warr 
assembled and the propositions severally debated Butt att 
length wee findinge that in all probability wee were able to hold 
out eight or nyne dayes within which time we doubted not 
but to have receaved reliefe from his Ma" e (havinge soe long 
before and by soe many severall Messages humbly begged 
it) wee all of us unanimously resolved to give this answere 
followinge viz'. 

' The propositions are soe unfitt for Gentlemen of 
honour and those y' stand well affected to Kinge and 



Parlam' that wee deny them all (except the delivery 
upp of Papists if there bee any amongst us), 
and to this answer the governours subscribed their names. 

' Upon returne of this answere the enemy battered us 
extreamly (they having fourteene pieces of ordnance and by 
their approaches having gained the East and West suburbs), 
wee were forced for the preservation of ourselves and the 
place to fire some of them, which made the enemy for 
the present retire from the West gate butt havinge gotten 
the advantage of a Church without the East gate they poured 
in their small shott soe faste at the East port that there was 
noe enduringe the walls and hardly the streete for prevention 
whereof wee placed Musquetires in the garrett of Sir William 
Morley's house being a place of that height that it commanded 
the Church soe that that storme begann to bee more quiett. 

' Notwithstandinge which the enemy (knowinge their 
strength of men and our weaknesse that way) with continuall 
shootinge both of great and small shott and assailinge of us 
upon all quarters att the same time both day and night for 
eight days together without intermission they kept us all 
both officers and other upon duty soe that not havinge men 
to relieve us we were driven to such extremities for want of 
rest and sleepe that all daunger givinge way to nature in the 
hottest of the fight diverse of the souldiers fell fast asleepe upon 
the walls. 

' This caused us again to call a Counsell of warr, at which 
wee tooke to consideration, what fighting men wee had in the 
Towne and what store of meate, money and ammunition. 



And findinge a generall defect in all, our provisions beinge not 
able to maintain us above two dayes att the most (victuall 
only excepted which by computacon might have lasted a 
weeke longer) wee to give time and spare powder (which could 
no otherwise have beene done butt by a resolution of Armes) 
wee resolved to send for a parley which on the 26th of December 
we did at night by a letter directed to Sir William Waller the 
substance whereof was as followeth, viz y . 

' That the propositions wee receaved from him at the first 
parly, that wee did not then nor could wee yett accept of them 
butt havinge taken into consideration a verball message sent 
by his trumpeters that the reason why he sent for a parly with 
us was to spare the effusion of Christian bloud wee havinge 
the same affections with him in that particuler, for that reason 
and noe other did now desire a parlie with him desiringe 
withall that hee would send in two gent: unto us armed with 
power to treate and conclude in such manner as might put a 
period to the businesse. 

' This message was sent to him by a trumpeter of ours wee 
must confesse at somewhat an unreasonable time butt wee 
knowinge our danger in regard wee could neither by faire 
meanes nor fowle gett any men to bee upon their duties or 
man the walls were necessited to it. 

' To this message of ours Sr. William Waller retourned 
answere that our trumpeter came at an hower unwarrantable 
by the laws of Armes and that hee might justly have deteyned 
him accordinge to the example of some of our party in the like 
case howsoever hee resolved to keepe himselfe to his own 



principles and not to seek advantage by such wayes withall 
letting us know that hee thought if wee had minded the savinge 
of Christian bloud wee could att first have accepted his pro- 
positions and not delayed the businesse to the expense of so 
many lives notwithstanding if wee had any propositions to 
make wee might send them and if hee liked them hee would 
accept of them. 

' This answere was soe high and our present condition soe 
low that we were driven to the greatest straight could bee 
imagined yett wee resolved to expect with patience what the 
issue of that night's work would prove. 

' The enemy presently played uppon us with all manner of 
shott and in all quarters as before and in the morninge they 
fired a heap of faggots at the West porte and hung a petarr 
upon the gate with an intention to have fired the gate or forced 
it open but wee with some labour quenched the fier & not 
without some hazard beate them from that designe. But 
beinge in this sad condition that wee could not expect other 
than the losse of our lives and ruine to all in the citty that stood 
well affected to his Ma ties service and both without the least 
advantage to his Ma tie wee againe resolved to sound a parly 
on purpose to gaine time to receave succors or to understand 
his Ma ts further pleasure and accordingly wee sent a Trumpeter 
to Sr. William Waller with a letter to this effect. That wee 
had now considered of propositions which wee would have 
sent by the trumpeter had not his quality dispromised that 
satisfaction which to every particuler wee should endeavour 
to contribute and therefore wee did desire to have two hostages 




of equal qualitye to Sr. William Bellenden and Capt. Wolfe 
(whom wee intended to send out unto them) returned unto 
us. During this treaty accordinge to our expectation wee 
received a letter from his Ma*' e intimating that wee could not 
expect succor till 15 dayes and givinge leave to make the best 
conditions wee could in case wee could not holde out till reliefe 
might come : which though we well knew wee could not yett 
wee resolved our propositions should be such as should not 
give the enemy the least ground of knowinge the necessities 
we were under. 

' The trumpeter that was despatched immediately brought 
this answere unto us from Sr. William Waller in writinge : 

' GENTLEMEN, According to your desier I have agreed 
to send two gent: in exchange for Sr. William Bellenden & 
Captaine Wolfe our hostages shalbee Sr. Michaell Linesey and 
cap' Boswell. I shall expect to receave your propositions 
and that those gentlemen shall come armed with a power to 
treate & conclude and by them we will retourne our finall 
resolution our hostages shalbee accompanied with the same 
number of men as formerly wee expect yours in the like 
manner I have noe more to add butt that I am your servant, 


' Accordingly hostages were exchanged and our propositions 
sent the very words whereof were as followeth : 

' i. That it shalbee lawful and permitted to the Governour, 
officers, gents and soldiers which are now residinge 
in the Citty of Chichester to march thence with their 
horses, armes bagge and baggadge drums beatinge 



match in cocke bullett in mouth and Colours flyinge 
to any part of his Ma ties Army without plunderinge 
or other injury. 

' 2. If any officer souldier gent: or other person now residing 
in this Citty or which at any time within the space of 
one month last past hath resided in this Citty shalbee 
minded to repayre to his habitation or place of 
dwellinge (wheresoever the same is) that hee or they 
shalbee permitted soe to doe and there to remayne with- 
out any injurye to bee offered to his person or estate. 

' 3. That if any inhabitant of this Citty shall resolve to 
remayne here that hee bee permitted soe to doe 
without injury to his person or estate or if hee shall 
march with our forces yett his estate to remayne 
in security. 

' 4. That noe man now residinge here and hath done any act 
for the maintenance of this Citty on the behalf of the 
Kings Majestic or hath used any words to that purpose 
shalbee questioned therefore. 

' 5. That we may first march out of one port before your 
forces enter any parte of the Citty & when your forces 
enter that it shall not bee at the same port wee march out . 

' 6. That wee have a Trumpeter of yours furnished with a 
duplicate of these articles of treaty to march with us, 
with a safe conduct to the Kings Garrison at Readinge. 

' These were our publique propositions but we armed 
Sir William Bellenden & Captaine Wolfe to conclude on any 
other such tearmes as they in their judgments should think 


P 2 


fit and more particularly the high Sherife & Mr. Lewkenor 
being the only persons sought after as was conceaved did 
voluntarily authorize Sir William Bellenden & Captaine Wolfe 
to deliver them upp prisoners in case their sufferings might 
preserve to his Majestic such a considerable number of souldiers 
as might otherwise bee in danger to be lost to his Majestie's 
disservice. Butt it seems that all our propositions were sett 
on side nor could our Gentlemen get them to treat on any 
other save only free quarter and a cessation of armes during 
the treaty, which the Gentlemen thought to bee soe meane 
conditions that they departed without drawing to any con- 
clusion att all. This being signified unto us by Sir William 
Bellenden and Captaine Wolfe we were more than ordinarily 
sensible that the enemy had certaine intelligence of our indi- 
gencies and therefore wee called a counsell of warr once more 
to advise what course was fitt to be steered for the best service 
of his Majestie, where two questions were moved the first to 
attempt the making of our passage through them, the second 
to accept of the enemys propositions since now we were out 
of hope of better the first was wholly declined by the counsell 
of warr as impossible for soe small a number as we were to 
breake through about two thousand horse and Dragoners 
and one thousand foote of the enemy's especially they having 
soe blocked up and entrenched all the wayes that there was 
noe passage for horse without an undoubted daunger of ruine 
by their force and ordnance. The second question was 
unanimously harkened unto and there uppon it was resolved 
that we should forthwith despatch a messenger with a 



Trumpeter (though it was late at night) to Sir William Waller, 
butt first by a commander of his lying in the East suburbs wee 
desired to know (regards of his former exception to the un- 
reasonableness of the time) whether such a messenger might 
bee admitted at that time of night yes or noe. Sir William 
retourned that hee was contented to admitt of a treaty (though 
late at night) whereuppon wee despatched Captaine Leeds with 
a Trumpeter with him, & by the Cap" lett Sir William know 
that we were contented with the first propositions made by 
him to us and resolved to quitt the Citty uppon those tearmes. 
To this Sir William Waller returned by Capt" Leeds this 
answer in wrighting viz y . To those propositions and demaunds 
made by the Governor and Gentlemen in Chichester my answer 
is, That quarter shallbee given to all officers, souldiers gentle- 
men and other inhabitants in that Citty and free passage out 
of the towne shalbe granted to all Ladyes & Gentlewomen for 
their owne persons and I doe promise unto all both men and 
weomen civill and faire usuage. That the Citty shalbee 
absolutely surrendered into my hands by toomorrow (being 
Wensday the 28th of December) by nyne of the clock in the 
morninge with all armes ammunition and furniture of warr 
and colours undefaced, WILLIAM WALLER. 

' To which was added this post script. I desier an absolute 
answere within an hower in the meane time I graunt a cessation 
of Arms. 

' Though it were hard to requier answere within an houer 
(especially it being then past one of the clock in the morninge, 
when it was impossible to have common advice of all the 



officers) yett the governors of the towne with the assent of such 
commanders as could be drawne togeather, foreseeing the 
destruction of themselves and all other of his Majestie's 
good subjects within that Citty in case they embraced not 
the conditions offered resolved to render the Towne uppon 
those tearmes last mentioned, only they differed from Sir 
William Waller's demands in poynt of time promising to 
deliver it upp by two of the clock in the afternoone, 
and thus much the governor signified in wrightinge by a 
Trumpeter to Sir William Waller. The next morning being 
Wensday the 28th of December the Governors meetinge diverse 
of the Scotish and other officers acquainted them with the 
proceedings of the night last past with which many of the 
Scotts seemed to bee much displeased for that the conditions 
were noe better and resolved (as they said) rather to adventure 
their lives than embrace the conditions and in prosecution of 
this resolution divers of them mounted on horseback and putt 
themselves in order at the Northport to resist the enemy in 
case they should approach that port. Mr. Lewkenor one of 
the Governors seeing the discontent of the Scottish officers 
came unto them and demanded if they would be content he 
would signifie their resolutions to Sir William Waller who 
desired it might be so, which (togeather with some words cast 
out by the common souldiers of the enemy's who lay under the 
wall of the Citty & had free discourse with the towne souldiers) 
caused Mr. Lewkenor to direct a letter to Sir William Waller 
to this effect that notwithstandinge conditions agreed on 
the common souldiers of his declared publiquely they would 



kill Mr. Lewkenor & seaven others (whom they named not). 
That the Scotts officers dislike the conditions of bare quarter 
only, and rather resolved to dye then embrace them. 

' To this letter Sir William Waller returns this answer within 
half an houer or thereabouts. 

' GENT", I cannot butt marvaile very much to meete with 
new exceptions after capitulation agreed ; for any threatinge 
speeches uttered by any against your owne person or any other, 
I should desire you to rest confidently uppon my faith that 
none shall touch one hair of your heads but he shall take my 
life into the bargaine. Those officers & Gentlemen of my Lord 
of Crawford's troupe must either submitt to the condition 
of yeeldinge uppon quarter or if they have a minde to put their 
lives uppon a cast at dice stand the issue of warr without hope 
of mercy. I expect a punctual performance of the agreement 
and that immediately and upon that condition I subscribe 
myself your servant, WILLIAM WALLER. 

' This answer being received by the Governors they imme- 
diately acquainted the Scottish officers with the contents 
thereof desiring them to grow to some such settled resolution 
as might best conduce to his Majestie's service, their owne 
honor and safeties, giving them assurance to undergoe any 
hazard with them. But at last they (being equally sensible 
with the Governors of ye weakness of the towne, the inability 
of some & indisposition of most of the soldiers to fight, of the 
want of ammunition shortnesse of victual and the great 
disproportion that was in number betweene the enemy's forces 
and ours) resolved unanimously to surrender the town uppon 



bare quarter which being signified to Sir William Waller he 
forthwith writeth to the Governors as folio we th. 

' GENT N , Wee are now in the name of God agreed in the 
next place for your preservations I desier your ports may bee 
cleared & wee ready to take possession by twelve of the clock 
at noon that soe the approach of night may not tempt our 
troupers to disorder before wee be actually settled. I requier 
six hostages for performance of your covenants viz., Mr. 
Lewkenor, Colonel Shelley, Sir William Bellenden, Mr. Edward 
Ford, Colonel Linsey, Serjant Major Dawson. I will send into 
the town some commissioners to see things acted with expe- 
dition. I rest your humble servant, WILLIAM WALLER. 

trt, ^^U- U 
-VW. <~$7 t i.Mt'jfa-y i 

. bit,. *ff*?^JtMt.i*g* 

A-,^W -v". 4 **- 1 ** 






' In the post script of this letter he thus writeth. Appoint 
which port you mean to cleare first and I shall send a guard of 
horse thither to convoy your hostages unto me. 

Chris. Lewkenor. I. Lyndsay. 

W. Bellenden. Edw'd Porter. Major Lermonth. 

Edw'd Forde. Ja. Sterling. Jo. Weston. 

Thos. Leedes. Frances Lyndsay.' 

The following message from the King had been received 
during the siege : 

' Right trusty & right welbeloved & trusty & welbeloved 
wee greet you well wee have had the relation of ye present 
state of our Citty of Chichester by your expresse messenger 
sent to us from you. Wee take your cares & brave resolutions 
in exceedinge goodpart for the defence & preservation of 
yourselves & of that place. Wee are sorry that for the present 
wee are not able to supply you with those forces which wee 
acknowledge are very requisite to be sent not only for your 
sakes whose honour & safeties wee are tender of but also 
for your owne service sake. The preservation of our owne 
person & the body of oure army in this place near unto us, doe 
put such a necessity uppon us that without hazard of all wee 
cannot divide these oure forces into parts, which being united 
as now they are are sufficient for our defence. Butt wee have 
at present assurance of supplies from other several parts to a 
very considerable number and then wee shalbee able to give 
that assistance from hence which wee are as willing to send 
unto you as you can be to aske and we hope that a few (that 








11. MOYNE 




(3ft. 6in. by 2ft. Sin.) 


is to say fifteen) dayes at most will bringe this to passe. In 
the meantime wee hope well that by the strength yee already 
have and by the providence you use in managing your affairs 
yee wilbee able to hold out as long as they wilbee able to con- 
tinue the siege in this winter season, which will be for your 
honour & much conduce to our service. Butt if yee shalbee 
putt to any such distresse as y l yee cannot endure long and 
that this should happen before Our supplyes can come unto you 
(which we hope shall not bee, wee purposing to use all possible 
speede in our despatches) wee shall not take it amisse from 
you if you use that meane for your owne safeties by way of 
Capitulation on the behalf of yourselves and of Our good 
subjects in the Towne as in your wisdoms accordinge to the 
course of souldiers in the like cases yee can agree upon with 
the adverse party And this wee assure you and those Gentlemen 
whoe assist you that wee doe & shall thankfully esteeme of 
these your endeavours whatsoever the sucesse shall prove 
(which is only in the hands of God) & study y e ways to make 
you reparations by any thinge in our power. Given at Our 
Court at Oxford the 24th of December 1642.' 

Christopher Lewkenor had married in 1629 Mary, who 
was daughter of John May of Rawmere, but who was then a 
widow. A curious family tradition is connected with this 
marriage. It seems that the lady was unwilling, although two 
of her brothers were intimate friends of Lewkenor and anxious 
for the match. Lewkenor had no fortune and was in debt, but 
was likely to rise in his profession. The brothers, knowing 


Q 2 


that their sister was apt to listen to gipsies who went about on 
pretence of telling fortunes, employed a company of them to 
go to her in favour of Mr. Lewkenor, and placed themselves 
behind a hedge at the time when she was feeding her fowls. 
Observing that she let go her apron and the corn fell to the 
ground, they concluded from this that their story must have 
made some impression : therefore they desired their friend to 
try his success once more, when she accepted of his proposal. 
When married she told him she had a thousand pounds she 
was desirous to place out on good security. He accordingly 
took it to London, and paid all his debts, and brought her the 

Shortly after the siege of Chichester Christopher Lewkenor 
received from the King the honour of knighthood. But his 
exertions and adventures in the Royal cause were by no means 
at an end. 

In 1646 he assisted Sir Edmund Fortescue in the defence 
of Fort Charles in Devonshire. The garrison here seem to 
have been able to make a much more obstinate resistance than 
was possible at Chichester. They were forced indeed to 
capitulate, but the articles of surrender to Colonel Ralph 
Weldon show that they marched out with all the honours of 
war, with their standards flying, and their troopers allowed 
to fire three volleys before they surrendered their arms. 
Fortescue and Lewkenor kept their own arms and had liberty to 
reside at Fallapitt (the Fortescues' place) ' or elsewhere in this 
country ' for three months, and thereafter, if they were unable 
to make their peace with the Parliament, to pass beyond the seas. 



In 1650 Charles II gave to Lewkenor a safe conduct (the 
original of which is preserved at Chawton) to proceed to 
Belgium on the King's business. 

On the Restoration his two daughters, Frances andEKzabeth, 1 
had each of them a portion of 1000 from the Crown. Christo- 
pher's nephew John (son of his elder brother, Richard) was 
also knighted and added largely to the family estates by marry- 
ing Ann, the daughter of George Mynne. 

In spite of the traditional loyalty of the family, Sir John's 
son, another John, was evidently placed in a difficult position 
by the extraordinary conduct of James II in 1687-8. A letter 
is extant addressed to him by Lord Montagu of Cowdray, 
the Lord Lieutenant, containing the following questions 
required by the King to be put to all the Deputy Lieutenants 
and Justices of the Peace within the county : 

' i. In case he shall be chosen a Knight of ye Shire or 
Burgesse of a Towne when the King shall think fitt 
to call a Parliament whether he will be for taking off 
y e penall Laws & Tests. 

' 2. Whether he will assist & contribute to y e ellection of 
such members as shall be for taking off the penall 
lawes & Tests. 

' 3. Whether he will support the King's declaration for 
liberty of conscience by living freindly with those of 
all perswasions as subjects of y e same prince, as good 

Christians ought to doe.' 


1 These two ladies, it will be seen below, were the mothers, respectively 
of Mrs. Elizabeth (Martin) Knight of Chawton and William (Woodward) 
Knight, her husband. 


John Lewkenor, Esquire, answers to the two first questions 
that he shall consent readily to the abrogating the ' penall 
lawes and tests,' provided that the Church of England may 
be secured by Act of Parliament in her legal rights and posses- 
sions. And as to the third question, he wholly consents. 

With these keen Church of England feelings, he must 
already have looked with suspicion on the conduct of the King 
towards the Fellows of Magdalen College, which has been so 
graphically described by Macaulay, and of which John Lew- 
kenor received a private account from Oxford. More than 
one account of the extraordinary interview between the King 
and the Fellows has already been published in ' Magdalen 
College and James II,' by Rev. J. Bloxam, D.D. (Oxford 
Historical Society, No. 6) ; and as the interview was attended 
by a shorthand writer, the accounts agree very closely. It 
may be interesting, however, to read an independent recital. 
The letter is as follows : 

' SIR, I must confess It's something above a week since 
I received y r last letter, & that I did not answer it sooner I 
have but little to say for my excuse if I consider what vast 
encouragement of matter for a letter y e present Juncture of 
affairs has afforded : only this, w th y r leave let me implead 
that I could not but think that most of w' happened was of 
such publick concern that you could not fail of a particular 
account of it in y r publick letters, but however this could not 
I was convinced excuse me from my duty of serving you in w' 
lay in my power and that a tautology in a few words was 



much more tolerable than a Soloecism in good manners. I 
have therefore ventured to send you this impartiall account 
of y" Magdalen business as 'twas taken from King's mouth 
in shorthand which I do not find in any publick letters. The 
Lord Sunderland sent an order to y e Fellows of Magd: Coll. 
that they should attend y e K: at three of the clock in y e 
afternoon on Sunday. They waited on His Maj tsr accordingly 
& Dr. Pudsey y e Sen r Fellow was to answer whatever His 
Maj ty requir'd of y m . 

' As soon as they were admitted His Maj: began as follows. 
K. What's your name ? D r Pudsey ? 
Dr. P. Yes may it please yr Majesty. 
K. Did you receive my letter ? 
Dr. P. Yes, S r , Wee did. 

K. Then you have not dealt w th me like Gentlemen : you 
have done very uncivilly & undutifully by me. Upon 
which they all kneel'd & Dr Pudsey offer'd a Peticon 
containing the reasons & obligations they had to proceed 
as they did, w ch His Maj: refus'd to take & said on. 
K. You have been a stubborn turbulent College. I have 
known you to be so these 26 years myself : you have 
affronted me : Is this your Ch: England's Loyalty ? 
One would wonder to see so many Ch: of Eng: men got 
together in such a business. Go back & shew yourselves 
good members of y r Ch: of Eng J , Get you gone. Know 
I am y r King & y' I command you to be gone. Goe & 
admitt y e Bishop of Oxford Head Principall (or wh' do 
you call it) of y r Coll: (one that stood by said " President ") 



I mean President of y r Coll Lett them that refuse look to it. 
You shall feel the weight of y r Sovereign's displeasure. 
The Fellows being gone out of y e Dean's Lodgings were 
called back and y e King said 

K. I hear you have admitted a fellow of y r Coll since you 
receiv'd my Inhibition, is this true ? Hav't you admitted 
one Mr. Holding fellow ? 

Dr. P. I think he was admitted, but we conceive (the 

doctor hesitates a little) another of the Fellows said, 
May it please y r Majesty, there was no election, or admis- 
sion since your Maj tys Inhibition ; but only the Con- 
firmation of y e former Election. 

K. The confirmation of a former Election 'twas downright 
disobedience and 'tis a fresh aggravation. Get you home 
I say agen. Get you gon home, & Elect y e Bishop of 
Oxford or else you must expect to feel the heavy hand 
of an angry King. 

Then the Fellows offered their Petitcon agen on their 

K. Begon, I will receive nothing from you until you have 
obey'd me & Elect the B. of Oxford. 

' Uppon which they went directly to their Chappie & 
Dr Pudsey proposing whether they would obey y e King 
& elect y e B: of Ox. They all answered in their turns, 
that they were as ready to obey His Maj ty in all things 
that lay in their power as any of his Subjects but electing 
y e B: of Oxford being directly contrary to their statutes 
& to the positive Oathes they had sworne thereto ; they 



could not apprehend it to be in their power to obey him 
in that matter. Only Mr. Dobson answered doubtingly 
y' he was ready to obey him in everything he could, & 
Mr. Chernock y e Papist was for obeying him in that. 
' I am glad to hear the Gun has pleased you so well. The 
post just going, therefore I must beg your pardon if (w th my 
service to Mr. Knight) I abruptly subscribe myself, Your 
most obliged humble servant, 

Ox. I3th Sept r 87. ' J. FlSHER.' 

The further course of political events at this critical period 
is illustrated by two other documents in the family archives. 
In June 1688 Lord Montagu writes to John Lewkenor informing 
him of the news of the birth of a ' hopefull sonn ' to the King. 
He was bidden to pass on the joyful news to all Corporations, 
Deputy Lieutenants, &c., that they may join at the appointed 
time ' as well in solemne thanksgiving to Almighty God for 
the inestimable Blessing as in such other Expressions of 
publick rejoiceing as are suitable for so great an occasion.' 

Within a few months of this letter Lord Montagu has 
ceased to act as Lord Lieutenant, and the Duke of Somerset, in 
the absence of a legal Lord Lieutenant, considers it his duty 
to write from Petworth to Sir William Morley (who had 
married Lewkenor's mother) ordering the disarming of Papists. 
The letter proceeds : 

' The surprizing news I received by an express last night 
from London y' y e King was taken on board his yatch by 
some Fishermen w ch did not know it was him till they brought 





him ashoar and y' he was known by severall who sent to y e 
L ds at London to know w' to doe for He would feign have 
gone aboard againe, but y e L ds sent his coaches & guards for 
him to bring him to London so y' I being sent for I shall & 
all y e world will judge now how y e world will goe, w ch w n I 
am ceirtaine off any thing I will send down intelligence into 
y e country. I am y r Humble Servant, 


We have allowed ourselves this long digression on the 
Lewkenors both because it is taken from original documents 
bearing on important events in English history, and also 
because the Lewkenors occupied an influential position in the 
story of the Chawton estate. They were ancestors of three 
successive owners of the Manor and the bulk of their property 
descended to them. 

We saw in the last chapter that the 
male line of Knights came to an end with 
Sir Richard. His father's sister Dorothy 
had married Michael Martin of Ensham in 
Oxfordshire. The Martins were settled 
at Ensham, near Witney, in the reign of 
Henry VIII, as is shown by the following 
extract from an ancient record : 
' These were the ancient Armes or badges of Honor con- 
ferred upon Jason Martyn of or nere Witney in the County of 
Oxon Esqr. by Henry the Eighth of England for service by the 
said Martyn done in the said King's expedition to Bulloine viz. 



Sa. a chevron between 
three doves or martlets 


Sable a chevron between three doves argent. For the crest 
(creast) A Cockatrice displayed or the wreath sable argent. 

' (Signed) WM. RYLEY, NORROY.' 

The son of Michael Martin and Dorothy Knight, another 
Michael, married the Frances Lewkenor mentioned above, and 
it was to their son Richard that Sir Richard Knight devised 
his property, with remainder to Richard's brother and sister, 
Christopher and Elizabeth, and with the proviso that any 
one of them succeeding to it should take the name of Knight 
instead of Martin. 

Sir Richard also directed his executors to lay out 500 on 
raising a monument to him in Chawton Church ; the money 
for this and for the payment of his debts and legacies was to be 
provided by the sale of the woods. The loss of the woods, 
however, was averted by the generosity of Michael Martin, 
the heir's father, who bought them for 4600 and left them 
standing for his son. 

It seems that during the minority of the heir the mansion 
was let for a time to Lord Wiltshire, son of the Marquess of 
Winchester (afterwards first Duke of Bolton) . A MS. notebook 
in the possession of Lord Bolton gives the names of three of the 
Paulet family as having been born at Chawton in the years 
1684, 1685, and 1686, one of them being Charles, afterwards 
third Duke of Bolton, the husband of Lavinia Fenton. 

Young Richard went up to Oxford and died of smallpox, 
while an undergraduate at Christ Church, in 1687. 

His brother Christopher had a somewhat longer tenure of 



the property, but he died unmarried in 1702 at the age of 
thirty-three ; and no wonder, poor man ! considering the 
apothecary's bill which was paid after his death by his sister - 
more than 40 expended on boluses, cordial potions, and 
fomentations, and all used in the last three months of his life. 


His successor, his sister Elizabeth, occupies a central 
position in the history of Chawton. She reigned for thirty- 
five years ; she survived two husbands ; and circumstances 
gave her the power to settle the destination of a large landed 
property for generations to come. We picture her to ourselves 
as a woman of strong character, masterful but affectionate, 
and with a keen sense of the duties as well as of the dignity 
of her position. She was somewhat of a grande Dame, and her 
progresses were marked by the ringing of church bells ; but 
her accounts, which are very carefully kept, record not only 
large gifts to churches and individuals, but also many unosten- 
tatious acts of charity. A few extracts from the correspondence 
which has been preserved will serve to illustrate both her 
character and her social surroundings. It was a society 
which did not despise gossip, and which was by no means 
destitute of humour. As soon as she had succeeded to the 
estate she wrote the following frank and somewhat imperious 
letter to her woodman. 


' I2th December, 1702. 

' JOHN NAISH, I am very sorrey to hear y' you are y e 
Occasion of giving yourself and me so much trouble concerning 
y r putting Cattle into y e Woods w ch I have continuall Intelli- 
gence of likewise a great many sheep mark w' h y r own 
name w ch is a thing I will not suffer I doe asure you therefore 
dont provoke one that is so Inclinable to be y r ffriend provided 
I find you just to me. 

' I know you will aledge y' you have enemies y' give me y s 
Information but I hear it from so maney y 1 I must beleive it 
therefore I would advice you to Lett it be so no more and 
now John I must tell you y' I signed y r account when in 
Town because you tould me it was by my Dear Brothers 
orders w ch is what I must always have a Regarde to, but for 
y e futer I expect an account in y e Distinct maner following,' 

John Naish was evidently unable to satisfy her, for in the 
next month she calls upon him to deliver his account to a 
successor whom she has already appointed. 

In August 1718 Elizabeth writes to her ' Cousin Gardiner,' 
who had recently lost her husband, and whose marriage settle- 
ment was in Elizabeth's custody. She begs her cousin ' not to 
indulge y r grief so much to Destroy y r health w ch is Valluable 
to all y r friends, particularly myself.' She goes on to speak 
of a recent will, some of the provisions of which made her 
think very badly of the testator. ' I always took him,' she 
said, ' for an Honest Gentleman but cannot help thinking, by 

y s 


y s Act, but that he has made his name Infamous to all Posterity: 
I talk like an Old-fashion person for I think Religion and 
Justness grows out of date.' Cousin Gardiner answers to 
Elizabeth's husband William. She speaks of her grief and 
loss but is able to turn away to subjects of a more trivial nature. 
Of another cousin of hers she says : ' Shee is better but looks 
sadley still, her Daughters and shee are parted, wich I thinke 
will be much for the better, for Poor Woman shee may say 
as my deare Mr. Gardiner used to doe His Olive Branches Had 
Maney Thorn's, Lady Chathrin Sidney has Marry'd herselfe 
to a Capt not worth a Groat. Lady Munson has tooke a 
Hous in y e Pell Mall two Little Rooms of a floor and a Closet 
for w ch Shee gives a hundred and twenty pound a yeare 
without a Coachhous or stables, but then it looks into y e 
Parke Mrs. Stonehouse S. John's sister has discretley marry'd 
her footman,' &c. 

But what, we wonder, is the meaning of the following 
quasi-legal document ? It looks as if it were an elaborate 
joke invented to relieve the tedium of a wet day in the country, 
but Edward Mumford was the steward, and hardly likely to 
take part in a joke with the lady of the Manor, while the other 
two parties to it, though they bear the name of Martin and 
Lewkenor, cannot now be identified as individuals. Anyhow, 
the document is redolent of the period. 

' West Deane, Aug' 2oth 1722. 

' I do hereby irrevocably authorize and desire my Worthy 
friends Mrs. Knight (Lady of West Deane) Philip Meniconi of 



Sunbury Esq, Mr. Edward Bowman of London and my deare 
Wife Laura Martin joyntly & severally to Pull me out of 
Bed, or beat me, or take such other measures as they or any 
of them shall judge proper, for the rousing and recovering me 
from the spleen ; and for so doing this shall be a sufficient 
Warrant & authority and also a testamony of my thanks 
for it. 

Witness : Ed: Lewkenor 
Ed: Mumford. 

Elizabeth's first husband (to whom she appears to have 
been warmly attached) was her first cousin, William Woodward, 
whose mother had been Elizabeth Lewkenor. The pair became 
the sole representatives of the Lewkenors, 
the last John Lewkenor having died 
without issue, and left the bulk of his 
property to them. In consequence of 
having succeeded to Westdean, Woodward 
had to serve the Office of High Sheriff for 


Sussex in 1700, having already occupied Ba "y of ,. six , - and 

ar., three bucks' heads 

a similar position in Surrey as the owner c ab ssedor - 

of Fosters (the Woodwards' place) in 1702. The office 

must have been something of a burden, if one may judge 

from a letter written by Woodward to his cousin John 



'March y e 3oth 1703, 

' SR, I received of Hugh Madely 22 Guineas for which I 
return you and y e Lady Morley my humble and hearty thanks. 
Nothing could have been more acceptable to a Sheriff except 
his Quietus est, and nothing more welcome to me except your 
good company. By the little value you have for y e Town 
I'me almost satisfy'd you are grown a very Stoick, therefore 
(having read y' Diogenes preferr'd a Tubb before a Kingdom), 
I've presum'd to send you one with Sturgeon. May you 
be Philosopher enough to think it so, if not I can never 
repay the manifold favours I've receiv'd. Having already 
troubled you with a Tale of a Tubb I referr you to Mr Ford 
to give an account of y e Assizes I shall onely beg leave to say 
that if any one thing was well or honorable it must be wholly 
attributed to y e noble and generous present you kindly bestow'd 

on Your most humble servant, 

' Pray my service to all.' 

Woodward died in 1721. Four years later Mrs. Elizabeth 
was remarried to Bulstrode Peachey, 
brother of Sir John Peachey of Petworth. 
Both her husbands took the name of 
Knight on their marriage, and both were 
members of Parliament for Midhurst. This 
borough was probably subject to the 
PEACHEY influence of the Lewkenors, an influence 

Az. a lion ramp, double- 
queued erm. ; on a canton which would have passed to Elizabeth and 

ar. a mullet pierced gu. 

her first husband jointly, and to herself 
after his death. She survived her second husband two 



years (1735-1737), and (in spite of her release from an uncon- 
genial partner) they must have been years of much solitude 
and melancholy. Not only had she outlived both her brothers 
and both her husbands, but there were no nephews or nieces 
no near relatives, in fact, of any sort, to enliven her old age. 
She had to seek for a successor among those of whom she 
knew comparatively little, and who might be indifferent to 
the traditions of the place where she had spent the greater part 
of her life ; and in making the disposition which she felt 
obliged to make of her estate she must have deeply regretted 
having to nominate persons who did not belong to the old 
family of Knight. The regret would have been still greater 
had she known that nearly a century would elapse before 
Chawton again became the regular settled home of the family. 



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HE Mays (like the Lewkenors) were an ancient 
family in Sussex, a family who held a sufficiently 
prominent position in the history of the Court 
and Nation to make them worthy of a record, 
and who are especially interesting to us from the important 
place they occupy in the smaller history of Chawton. 

The elder branch of the family, who became owners of 
Pashly in the middle of the sixteenth century, do not specially 
concern us, but one of them deserves more than a passing 
mention. This Thomas May, who is described 1 as the eldest 


1 Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. 
s 2 


son of Sir Thomas May of Mayfield, Sussex, was educated 
at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and evidently imbibed 
there a great love for the classics. He was for a time at the 
Court of Charles I, where he became an intimate friend of the 
versatile Endymion Porter. But a cause of offence arose 
'some disgust/ Fuller tells us ('Worthies of Sussex'), 'was 
given to or taken by him (as some will have it) because his 
bays were not gilded richly enough and his verses rewarded 
by King Charles according to his expectations ' ; these verses 
having included no less than five plays. May thereupon left 
the Court for the Parliament, and abandoned poetry for prose. 
He became the historian of the Long Parliament, but he had 
the merit of not showing the bitterness of a renegade. He tells 
us in his Preface that he has endeavoured to avoid partiality, 
and that if he says more of Roundheads than of Cavaliers 
it is merely because he had better sources of information on 
that side, and adds, ' If those that write on the other side 
will use the same candour, there is no feare but that posterity 
may receive a full information concerning the unhappy dis- 
tractions of these kingdoms.' Perhaps Professor Firth was 
right in saying that May deserves praise ' rather for the modera- 
tion of his language than for the independence of his views ' ; 
but at all events he has the distinction of having pleased 
Lord Chatham, who advised his nephew to read May's History 
as 'much honester and more instructive than Clarendon's.' A 
less pleasant impression is, we are told, produced by the 
contrast between his ' History of the Parliament,' written 
when he was endeavouring to please the Parliamentary Party, 



and his ' Breviary of the History of the Parliament,' in which 
he made the cause of the Army and the Independents his 

Thomas May died suddenly in 1652, and was buried in 
Westminster Abbey near a historian who was much more to 
Fuller's liking, viz. Camden. ' If he were,' says Fuller, ' a 
biassed and partiall writer he lieth near a good and true 
historian.' Had Fuller written after the Restoration he 
would have been obliged to add that the bones of May, with 
those of the others of the defeated party, were ejected from 
the Abbey, and cast into a pit in St. Margaret's Churchyard. 

Meanwhile a younger branch of the May family had acquired 
property at Rawmere near Chichester. The ancestor of 
these, William, settled in Portugal, where he married Isabella, 
daughter of John Ballero or Balliro of 
Pharo. William May himself died in I [J [] [] Q 
Portugal (1539), but his sons were natural- 
ised in England, and Richard, the eldest 
of them, purchased Rawmere about 1580. 
This Richard had a large family, of 
whom the most distinguished, Sir Hum- GU. a fess between 

T, . ~ . j eight biUets or. 

phrey May, was a Privy Councillor, and 
also, apparently, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 
and Vice-Chamberlain to Charles I. He was a Courtier, 
but on the side of moderation and conciliation, and while in 
Parliament he ' displayed conspicuous talent as a debater 
and tactician.' In addition to holding the offices which we 
have mentioned, he had the reversion of the Mastership 



of the Rolls, but did not live to enjoy it. Altogether he was 
evidently a very notable person, but he was only a cadet 
of the family and must have been quite a little boy in 1585, 
when his sister Elizabeth was married to that remarkable 
product of the Elizabethan age, Baptist Hicks, who began 
life as a silk-mercer and money-lender and ended it as Viscount 
Campden. A long account of him will be found in Mrs. Hicks 
Beach's interesting book ' A Cotswold Family.' It was a time 
when social ambitions had a fair chance of being gratified, for 
the old Peerage of England, reduced to small dimensions by 
the Wars of the Roses, was being freely replenished out of 
the numerous families who rose to affluence under the Tudors. 
Certainly no hard-and-fast line was drawn between the pos- 
session of land and the pursuit of trade in that restless and 
enterprising age. Baptist Hicks and Elizabeth May were both 
born of citizen parents (for Richard May was Master of the 
Merchant Taylors' Company) ; and Baptist feels no shame 
in continuing to supply hangings for James I's Coronation, 
and lending money to Scottish nobles (whom he describes as 
' fayre speakers and slow performers ' in the way of paying their 
debts) : while his brother Michael is acting as private secretary 
to Burghley and Robert Cecil. The path is open to Baptist 
from his shop to a knighthood, a baronetcy, a seat in several 
Parliaments, a peerage and a palace in Gloucestershire. The 
site of his house behind Kensington parish church he is said 
to have acquired by the easy process of winning it at cards. If 
so, it was a curious beginning to a name which has lasted so 
long as that of Campden Hill. Baptist left no son, but his 




peerage descended to the husband of one of his daughters. 
Meanwhile the ownership of Rawmere passed, in the first 
instance, to the eldest brother of Elizabeth and Humphrey 
May, viz. Richard ; but it was afterwards, by a family arrange- 
ment, transferred to John. John, again, had many children 
one often wonders what becomes of all these successive large 
families, which seem amply sufficient to guarantee the preser- 
vation of the race and some of them must detain us for a short 
time. The property at Rawmere passed from John to his 
eldest son Thomas, but eventually on the failure of his issue 
it went to Thomas's brother John, and thereafter to John's son, 
Sir Thomas May, who died without issue in 1718. But much 
the most distinguished son of the first-mentioned John was 
Hugh, the celebrated architect, and the friend of John Evelyn. 
An excellent miniature of him, painted by Samuel Cooper in 
1653, depicts him as a young man with a delicate and thoughtful 
countenance. He wears a slight moustache and is dressed 
in the costume which we are in the habit of associating with 
the reign of Charles II. On his shoulder is a blue cloak, cast 
loosely over a dark coat. 

Hugh May designed on a large scale, and was concerned 
in many of the important buildings of his time ; and a further 
point of interest is that in some of his works he was associated 
with Grinling Gibbons. May was one of a distinguished party 
who went over the old Cathedral of St. Paul's, less than a week 
before the fire of London, 1 to ' survey the generall decays of that 


1 Evelyn's Diary, 27 August 1666 ; i March 1671 ; 25 August 1672 ; 
18 April 1680. 


ancient & venerable Church & to set downe in writing the 
particulars of what was fit to be don, with the charge thereof, 
giving our opinions from article to article ' ; but we are not 
informed what part he took in the wordy contest which ensued, 
between Dr. Wren and Mr. Evelyn on one side, and 
Mr. Chichley and Mr. Prat on the other, during which Dr. Wren 
and Mr. Evelyn (we may presume the initiative came from 
the former) unfolded the idea of ' a noble cupola, a form 
of Church-building not as yet known in England, but of 
wonderful grace.' 

The following extracts from ' Evelyn's Diary ' show that 
he took great interest in his friend's work, but, at the same 
time, that with him friendship did not preclude free criticism. 

Speaking of Mr. Gibbons, he says (ist March 1671) : ' His 
Majesties surveyor Mr. Wren faithfully promis'd me to employ 
him. I have also bespoke his Majesty for his worke at Windsor, 
which my friend Mr. May the architect there is going to alter 
& repair universally.' 

' 1672. Aug. 25. I dined at Lord John Berkley newly 
ariv'd out of Ireland where he had ben Deputy ; it was in 
his new house or rather Palace, for I am assur'd it stood him 
in neere 30,000. It is very well built and has many noble 
roomes but they are not very convenient consisting but of one 
Corps de Logis, they are all roomes of state without clossets. 
The staircase is of cedar, the furniture is princely : the kitchen 
& stables are ill-plac'd, and the corridor worse, having no 
report to the wings they joyne to. For the rest, the forecourt 
is noble, so are the stables, and above all, the gardens. The 
holly hedge on the terrace I advised the planting of. The 



Porticos are in imitation of an house described by Palladio, 
but it happens to be the worst in his booke, tho' my good friend 
Mr. Hugh May, his Lordship's Architect, effected it.' 

Under date i8th April 1680 he describes the seat of the 
Earl of Essex, Cashioberie. ' The House,' he says, ' is a plaine 
fabric, built by my friend Mr. Hugh May. There are diver's 
faire and good roomes and excellant carving by Gibbons 
especialy the chimney piece of the Library. . . .' 

' I did not approve of the middle dores being round but 
when the Hall is finish'd as design'd it being an oval with a 
cupola together with the other wing it will be a very noble 

Hugh May expected to succeed Sir John Denham as 
Surveyor of Works ; but in 1667 the post was given to Wren, 
and May was promised an annuity of 300 as a solatium. In 
1683 he was building a house at Chiswick for Sir Stephen Fox ; 
and this must have been almost his last work, for he died in 
1684. He had several brothers and sisters in addition to those 
we have already mentioned. One of them, Mary, 1 married, 
as her second husband, Sir Christopher Lewkenor, the defender 
of Chichester whose acquaintance we have already made in 
the last chapter. The youngest brother, Christopher May, 
married Dorothy Prude, and their daughter Anne married 
William Brodnax of Godmersham Park, near Canterbury. 

The reader must be so good as to take notice of these 
Lewkenor and Brodnax marriages, as the subsequent dis- 
position of the Chawton property depends on them. 


1 For an account of the circumstances connected with this marriage 
see pp. 115 and 116. 



There were other prominent members of the May family 
in the seventeenth century. Sir Humphrey's kinsmen benefited 
by his high position at Court : at any rate, Sir Algernon was 
Keeper of the Records, and Baptist (whose picture is at 
Chawton) was Keeper of the Privy Purse to Charles II, an 
office which was, unfortunately, incompatible with the pre- 
servation of dignity and self-respect. As for this ' Bab 
May,' we fear it must be admitted that Pepys, who was not 
likely to be particularly squeamish, speaks of his ' wicked 
crew ' : though he tells us elsewhere that he was one of the 
best tennis-players in England. Meanwhile Sir Humphrey's 
brother, an elder Hugh May, of Mote Park in Berkshire, had 
a son who became Sir Richard May, Baron of the Exchequer, 
and Recorder of Chichester. Of his family we need only add 
that his son Henry, also Recorder of Chichester, dying without 
issue, left his property to go with the rest of the May estate. 

Altogether, the Mays seemed to have the ball at their feet 
during the seventeenth century. The favour of more than 
one sovereign, successful marriages resulting in numerous 
issue, and the secure possession of landed property all seemed 
likely to assure the prosperity and continuance of the race. 
They might have been expected to take an important place 
in the struggles of the great families which characterise the 
politics of the eighteenth century. So far, however, is this 
from being the case that, in the eighteenth century, the Mays 
entirely disappear ; and we must now follow the fortunes of 
the Brodnaxes, whose lot it was to represent the branch 
of the Mays living at Rawmere. 



The family of Brodnax l settled in Romney Marsh in 
the first half of the fifteenth century. Samuel Pegge boldly 
conjectures that the name was derived from Bradnynch in 
Devonshire. However that may be, in 1440 Robert Brodnax 
was the husband of Alicia Scappe and succeeded to her father's 
property at Burmarsh. Their son Robert, whose will bears 
date November 1487, was followed by his 
son John and his grandson William in 
direct succession. William's son Thomas, 
born 1526, was the first of the family to 
possess Godmersham. Mr. John Philipot, 
the Herald, in his ' Villare Cantianum,' 
gives this account of him : ' Edward Lord Or two chevrons ; 

on a chief of the second 

Clinton not long after 4th Edw. VI aareeetaqneMtasr. 
conveyed Saltwood to Mr. Thomas Brodnax, whose family 
was of good repute and antiently possessed of a spread- 
ing Revenue about Burmarsh and S' Maries in Romney 
Marsh ; and he being transplanted to Godmersham passed 
this Manor away to Knatchbull, who in the i8th year 
of Q. Eliz. alienated it to Crispe.' 

This ' transplantation ' of Thomas Brodnax to Godmersham 
was brought about by the purchase of that place from Richard 
Astyn of West Peckham in the County of Kent. One is 
tempted to connect Richard Astyn (whose name in the spelling 
of those days was interchangeable with Austin and Austen) 


1 Our information respecting the Brodnax family is principally derived 
from a manuscript history and genealogy compiled in the eighteenth century 
by Samuel Pegge, LL.D., the author of several works of antiquarian research. 

T 2 


with the tenants of St. Augustine's Abbey in the past, and 
with the Austens of the future, who were eventually to succeed 
the Brodnaxes in the possession of Godmersham, but we fear 
there is no sufficient evidence to support either conjecture. 
Thomas, the purchaser, died in 1602 and was succeeded by 
another Thomas, his eldest son by his second wife Julian 
Brockman, to the exclusion of his two elder sons by the first 
marriage. This gentleman, says Pegge, was pleased to become 
a violent Republican at the time of the Grand Rebellion and 
was a Captain in the Parliamentary service. A letter is 
extant, addressed to him from Eastwell by his neighbour, 
Nathaniel Finch, in which the writer excuses himself from 
furnishing a required quota of men for the Parliamentary 
army, on the ground that he had really ceased to be owner of 
the estate. Another document contains an undertaking on 
the part of Lord Finch (to whom the estate had perhaps been 
conveyed) that he would be faithful to ' Comon-wealth of 
England as it is now established, without a King or House of 

During these troublous times Brodnax transferred his 
place of residence to Canterbury, where he lived within the 
precincts of the Church, in one of the prebendal houses which 
he had bought. Nor was this the only Church property 
of which he became possessed. He also bought woodland 
at Godmersham described as ' late parcel of the Possessions of 
the late Dean and Chapter of the late Cathedral Church of 
Christ Church, Canterbury/ and either he or his son purchased 
the Manor of that place. We may be sure, however, that they 



were not allowed to retain these possessions after the Restora- 
tion. Thomas Brodnax died at his house at Canterbury in 
the year 1658, aged ninety. 

His son Thomas, who succeeded him, was a partner with 
him in those acts against the Crown ; but upon the Restoration 
of King Charles II he availed himself of the general pardon 
promised by the Declaration of Breda. His own pardon under 
the great seal was dated I3th May, I3th of Charles II, and the 
family no doubt soon resumed the habits and ideas more 
usually associated with country squires. Of Thomas himself 
we hear no more than that he died in 1667, aged sixty-eight ; 
but his son William was knighted about the year 1664, and 
married Mary Digges, of Chilham Castle, granddaughter of 
Sir Dudley Digges, who was a well-known Master of the 
Rolls, and who built the present house at Chilham. 

There must have been at this time more offshoots of the 
house of Brodnax, at and about Godmersham, than we can now 
identify. In a letter written i7th August 1904, from Man- 
chester, Virginia, Dr. John W. Brodnax mentions a Bible 
brought from England by his ancestor, William Brodnax, 
which contains the following entry : ' Wm. Brodnax, youngest 
son of Robert Brodnax, Goldsmith, Holborn, London, was 
Born at Godmersham in Kent, Feb. 28, 1675.' ' This was my 
dear Father's bible, Robert Brodnax ; I desire it may be given 
to my eldest son after my decease to keep in memory of my 
Grandfather and me.' 

Perhaps this Robert Brodnax was a descendant of one of 
the two elder sons of Thomas the purchaser, who (as we have 



seen) did not succeed to Godmersham. If so, the future was 
not devoid of its compensations, for his family became possessed 
of a good estate in Virginia ; and it is pleasant to be able to 
add that ' the descendants of the Brodnaxes in America have 
without exception been Gentlemen of high character and 
worth.' Peaceful pursuits had now been resumed at God- 
mersham. A copy of Evelyn's ' Kalendarium Hortense ' now at 
Chawton, carefully annotated by ' Wm. Brodnax,' bears witness 
to the care and love of the squire for scientific gardening. 

We are now approaching the place where the family of 
Brodnax fit in with our previous history ; for the son of Sir 
William Brodnax and Mary Digges was the Colonel William 
Brodnax who (as we have seen) married Anne May. The 
death of her cousin, Sir Thomas May, 1 in 1718 left her one of 
the natural representatives of her family, and it soon appeared 
that by his will Sir Thomas May had devised the estate of 
Rawmere (after the death of his widow) to Anne's son, 
Thomas Brodnax. 

Lady May died in 1726, and in the next year Thomas 
Brodnax (who had lost both of his parents and was already 
in the possession of Godmersham) assumed the name of May. 
He was now a rich man and could afford in 1732 to commence the 
great work of building the present mansion at Godmersham Park. 

But he had not yet received all his promotions, nor finished 
his changes of name. His mother's aunt, Mary May, wife of Sir 
Christopher Lewkenor, the defender of Chichester, was grand- 
mother of Mrs. Elizabeth Knight, now reigning at Chawton. 

1 See page 135. 


This lady was therefore second cousin to Thomas Brodnax, 
and when she was left, after the death of her second husband, 
without any natural heir, she fixed upon him as her successor. 
She was of a disposition to value both his sterling qualities 
and also his more adventitious advantages of wealth and 
position. He would represent the family creditably, and 
she could provide in her will for the continuance of the family 
name. But she perhaps overlooked the fact that he already 
possessed a home to which he was warmly attached, and the 
probability that even the expression of her strong desire for 
regular residence during half the year at Chawton would be 
insufficient to overcome his prepossession for Godmersham. 
This proved to be the case, and occasional business visits 
(especially when the line taken by the Squire was so unpopular 
as the attempted sale of the Church bells) l were hardly likely 
to endear him to the tenants. His absence, however, gave 
the opportunity for frequent letters to pass between him and 
his stewards, some of which have been preserved. 

The Rawmere steward writes to him (July 1740) of the 
' Hanover ' rats which had lately made their appearance. 
One of the tenants tells him, that last year they killed ' above 
six hundred notwithstanding which they still swarm again 
there still ; everybody hereabouts complains of harm done 
by them. They lye abroade and berry like Rabits, eate the 
Corn, mostly wheat, in the Barns, and Beans in the Gardens, 
and they are prodigious mischievious Creatures.' 

On 2Qth March 1745, Mr. Thomas Knight writes to his 


1 See Chapter III. 


steward Randall at Chawton, telling him to accommodate 
a friend named Bathurst, who landed at Southampton under 
circumstances which obliged him to be in private. ' If he 
comes to Chawton he may lie in my Chamber, and I would 
have him dine in the parlour or in the Breakfast-Room, as he 
chooses, and the maid to wait on him, and let there be something 
dress'd for him everyday, as he likes, which your wife may 
always ask him, and get it accordingly, and let her buy a little 
good green tea and sugar for his breakfasts : in short let him 
be taken care of, and have what he wants, and I'll pay for 
everything he has. You must tell him you have no wine, but 
let him have strong beer as he likes, and you may buy a Bottle 
or two of Brandy and a few Lemons, and he'll make himself 
a little punch sometimes if he likes it.' Directions for con- 
cealment of his name and arrangements as to letters follow. 

On 3ist December 1745, Mr. Knight writes Randall an 
ordinary letter about poachers ; but the letter is dated ' St. 
James's Square in Westminster,' and the first sentence is, 
' I received yours of 24th at Godmersham, but our neighbour- 
hood there being much alarm'd about the French intending 
to land there, I have been in some hurry to remove my family 
to London.' ' There ' is a little vague, for Godmersham is 
a good way from any sea-coast ; but if the French were going 
to seize Dover, or to sail up the Thames, they would in either 
case have come unpleasantly near. 

In March 1746 he writes to Randall giving detailed instruc- 
tions as to the furniture of Rawmere which was to be moved 
to Chawton ; and it is a curious note of the times, and perhaps 



of the economical disposition of the writer, that much is said 
as to the windows to be stopped up in the dismantled house 
of Rawmere in consequence of the window tax. They were 
to be stopped up ' with lath and plaister at the Inside and 
the Glass left at the Outside.' 

On I3th June 1748 he condoles with Randall on the death 
of his son by drowning off the coast of China. ' By going out 
of the Ship in the Boat, as they lay in the River Canton, his 
foot slip't and he fell into the Water, and tho' there was help 
enough at hand, he never rose again for them to save him ; and 
it is a remarkable Quality of the Water, that a person falling 
does not rise ; and Mr. Robinson says, he has lost another 
man there who went into the River to wash, and these two are 
all he has lost in the voyage. I know this must be grief to 
you and Mrs. Randall, but you must inform her of it in the 
gentlest manner you can ; and it must be a comfort to you 
that you did your part in bringing him up, and have provided 
for him in the best manner you could, and that he received 
his Fate by the hand of Providence, to which we must all 

The gentleman of whom we have been 
speaking, who bore successively the names 
of Brodnax, May, and Knight, was edu- 
cated at Balliol College, Oxford. He then 
studied law, and, after acting as High 
Sheriff of Kent in 1729, he became 
in 1734 M.P. for Canterbury. Meanwhile, in July 1729, he 
had married Jane, daughter and co-heiress of William Monke 



of Buckingham House, Shoreham, Sussex, a lady whose 
connexion with the subsequent owners of Godmersham and 
Chawton will be described in the next chapter. Mr. Knight 
died in 1781 ; ' a gentleman,' says Hasted, ' whose eminent 
worth ought not here to pass unnoticed ; whose high character 
for upright conduct and integrity stamped a universal confi- 
dence and authority on all he said and did, which rendered his 
life as honourable as it was good, and caused his death to be 
lamented by everyone as a public loss.' l 

In the course of his life he parted with the two properties 
Rawmere and Westdean, both near Chichester, the old homes 
of the Mays and Lewkenors respectively. The former he 
sold outright ; the latter was exchanged for the properties of 
Neatham and Colmer near Chawton. 

Among the articles of furniture and house-decoration 
transferred from Westdean to Chawton is a large piece of 
tapestry. 3 It is probably French, and it was executed in 
1564 for the family of Lewkenor. The tapestry contains the 
Lewkenor Arms and in addition, the following coats of families 
connected with them Tregoz, Camoys, Culpeper, Audley, 
Touchet, Dalingrig, Grimsted, D'Oyley, Delawarr and Cantilupe, 
Moyne, Bruse, Gournay, and Pelham. The family evidently 
set great store by this piece of work, for Sir John Lewkenor in 
a document dated 1662 gives the following injunction to his 
heirs : ' Remenber to keep safe y e Carpet of Armes, now aged 
about 100 yeares, w ch , in y e failure of the elder house totalie 


1 Hasted's History of Kent, 1790, vol. 3, p. 159 (b). 

' 2 The tapestry measures sixteen feet three inches in length by seven feet 
two inches in width. 

^ feLi5^ 








consuming itselfe by daughters & heires & passing into other 
names, was sent hither by Constance Glemham of Trotton, 
who was one of those heires, for record to the younger house 
and whole name.' 

Mr. and Mrs. Knight had a considerable family, but several 
died in infancy. Of those that grew up three daughters never 
married, and the only son, Thomas, succeeded his father in 
his estates. 

Thomas Knight the second seems to have been cast in a 
slightly different mould from his father ; with equal self- 
respect and sense of responsibility for his public actions, he 
had more sweetness and less self-assertion. He was educated 
at Eton, and his name figures in the recently reprinted Eton 
school lists. Thence he was entered at Magdalen College, 
Oxford ; and he seems to have taken his academical life 
seriously, for it is mentioned that in 1755 he made a speech in 
the Sheldonian Theatre. His enduring love for his University 
was shown by his bequests of four cabinets of English coins, 
and also of a cornelian set in silver, taken from the body of 
Hampden after his death on Chalgrove field, on which are 
inscribed the words : 

Against my King I do not fight, 

But for my King and Kingdom's right. 

In 1759 he received the degree of M.A., and afterwards made 
the tour of Europe so indispensable for the finished gentleman 
of that age. On his return he became M.P. for New Romney, 
and as such one of the Barons of the Cinque Ports. A little 
silver gilt bell preserved at Chawton (which may be seen on 

P- -49) 

U 2 


p. 149) is a reminiscence of the Coronation of George III. These 
bells were part of the ornament of the canopy held over the 
King's head by the Barons of the Cinque Ports. Mr. Knight 
was subsequently M.P. for Kent, but in 1780 he withdrew from 
public business, a year before his father's death, and a year 
after his own marriage to Catherine, daughter of the Rev. 
Wadham Knatchbull, Rector of Chilham and Prebendary and 
Chancellor of Durham. Mr. Knight spent the rest of his life 
in the quiet performance of his duties as a country gentleman. 

' It gives my Wife and myself great pleasure,' writes a 
friend of his in 1789, ' when we reflect on the Happiness, peace 
in Mind, and Health, we hope and believe Mrs. Knight and 
you enjoy in your pleasant Mansion, and Situation ; tho' I 
often wish your Inclination had prompted you to have con- 
tinued longer in a more active Life ; there are now so few, 
who act on benevolent principles, that a worthy and good 
man's retirement from the Active part of life, must be a loss 
to his Country. In every other respect, domestic Happyness, 
a good Situation, and a good library, are the most desirable 
things in this world.' And the following account was published 
at the time of his death : ' His Carriage & address were those 
of a man of fashion, & his temper serene accompanied by a 
friendly disposition equally candid & sincere. His under- 
standing was sound & well cultivated & his conversation 
abounded with a facetious pleasantry ; which rendered his 
company universally acceptable.' l 

He and his wife must have been indeed delightful persons 


1 Gentleman's Magazine, November 1794. 


to meet, if they at all resembled (as no doubt they did) the 
two beautiful portraits by Romney, now at Chawton, one of 
which forms the frontispiece of this book, while the other is to 
be found opposite to this page. Mr. Knight died at Chawton, 
23rd October 1794. He left no issue and his disposition of 
the estates of Godmersham and Chawton will form a principal 
subject of the next chapter. We will only add here that it is 
certain, from her subsequent course of action, that Mrs. 
Knight was a willing co-operator with her husband in the 
measures which he took to secure an eventual successor to 
the estate. 






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HE family of Austen had been long settled in 
Kent ; and the particular branch of it with 
which we are concerned emerges into notice 
early in the seventeenth century at Hors- 
monden in that county. There are brasses in the church of 
that parish to John Austen, who died in 1620, and to Joan 
his wife. Joan had died in 1604, after giving birth to twins 
who came at the end of a long family. She met her death, 
says the inscription, ' often utteringe these speeches, Let 
neither husband nor children, nor lands nor goods, separate 



me from my God.' As to 'lands ' we can say nothing more 
definite than that in the course of the seventeenth century the 
Austens became possessed of the two small manor houses of 
Broadford and Grovehurst in Horsmonden parish, both of 
which their descendants still own. Broadford is a picturesque 
Elizabethan residence of very moderate 
size, standing just above the valley. A 
large room on the first floor is completely 
panelled with oak (now whitewashed), and 
contains over the fireplace and elsewhere 
the alternate rose and carnation which are 
twn a t^To n ns^ m t supposed to mark the Tudor age. Over 

erect erased sa. . -, r 1 ... in ,1 

the fireplace in the entrance-hall are the 
Austen arms, with the date 1587. When they were placed 
there is not known, but the date given must be anterior to 
the Austens' possession of Broadford. Grovehurst is about 
three-quarters of a mile from Broadford, and at the top of the 
hill. The north front of the house exhibits a charming 
assemblage of gables, with rough-cast below. The Austens, 
no doubt, made their money as clothiers, and the rollers used 
in the exercise of that trade may still be seen attached to the 
ceiling of one of the upper rooms at Broadford. The John 
Austens (they were nearly always christened ' John ') of that 
century evidently desired to take their place as squires of the 
county, and with the one who died, after a long reign, in 1705 
this must have been a dominating motive of action. He 
contented himself, however, with occupying the smaller of 
his two houses, viz. Grovehurst ; while his son, another John, 



on his marriage with Elizabeth Weller in 1693, was installed 
at Broadford. The elder John seems to have been something 
of a Tartar, or at all events to have liked ruling his family as 
well as upholding his position ; John the younger must have 
been easy-going and careless, and possibly pleasure-loving. 
He died of consumption in 1704, and his poor wife was left in 
a position the difficulties of which she afterwards unfolded to 
her children in a memorandum still extant. She had one 
daughter and six sons to maintain, and it transpired that her 
husband had left behind him considerable debts, of some of 
which she had been ignorant. She cast around for the means 
of paying them, and naturally appealed in the first instance to 
her ' father Austen.' He began by refusing her petition so 
positively that it seemed as if no expedient would be left her 
but a sale of her furniture. Later on, however, he said he 
would give her 200 ; not enough to pay the debts, but leaving 
(after taking credit for certain assets) only a small sum to 
make up. John the elder had just arranged to do this, when 
he fell ill and died. It might have been thought that Elizabeth's 
position would be improved by this event ; but it appeared 
that the old man had tied up the estate tightly in favour of 
her eldest little boy ; while the executors held that they had 
no right to pay her the promised 200, as to which no legally 
binding arrangement had been concluded before the father's 
death. She did, however, eventually manage to pay off the 
debts by the sale of a leasehold house (which seems to have 
been in her own power), and a few valuables, and she lived on 
four more years at Broadford with the children Betty, Jack, 



Frank, Tom, Will, Robin, and Stephen. Then the question 
of education began to be urgent ; there was none to be got 
at Horsmonden. So she decided to move to Sevenoaks 
(' Sennocks,' she called it) and to take a roomy house within 
reach of its grammar school. There she was to board the 
schoolmaster and some of his pupils. Her accounts go down 
to the time when her boys were beginning to go out into 
the world ; but she died in 1720, too soon to see the success 
which, on the whole, attended them. Jack, the Squire, had 
been taken off her hands when she moved to Sevenoaks. 
Frank was a solicitor at Tonbridge and Sevenoaks who eventu- 
ally amassed a considerable fortune. While his two next 
brothers, Tom and Will (both of whom had adopted the medical 
profession) were marrying young, and on small incomes, he 
remained single, and acted as a good uncle to his nephews. 
In later life he married twice ; one of his grandsons by his 
first marriage was Colonel Thomas Austen, M.P. for Kent, 
whose second wife was a sister of Cardinal Manning ; a grand- 
son of the second family, Rev. John Thomas Austen, was Senior 
Wrangler in 1817. Soon after the beginning of the nineteenth 
century the line of John Austen of Broadford came to an end, 
and the Horsmonden estate came into the possession of Frank's 
descendants, who still hold it. Of Frank's brothers, Tom, the 
doctor, married, and has left descendants in the female line, 
and Stephen became a well-known bookseller and publisher in 
London. Concerning Robin, history is silent ; he probably 
died young. 

William (the fourth brother), whose fortunes particularly 



concern us, was a surgeon. His profession seems to have given 
him an introduction into medical circles, for his wife was daughter* 
of one M.D. and widow of another. Born in 1701, William must 
have married when he was twenty-seven or twenty-eight, and 
he seems to have chosen discreetly. Rebecca Walter was the 
daughter of Sir George Hampson, a doctor who had succeeded 
to a baronetcy, which his descendants still hold. By her first 
husband, Dr. Walter, she had a son, who remained on intimate 
terms with his half-brother and half-brother's family. Judging 
from the character of her son, George Austen, we may guess that 
Rebecca was a woman of force and intellect, but unfortunately 
she died in giving birth to her fourth child and third daughter 
in 1732-3. The eldest daughter died in infancy, the youngest 
unmarried. The father only lived till 1737. How the children, 
George, Philadelphia and Leonora, were brought up we do not 
exactly know ; but, at any rate, George was befriended by 
his uncle Frank and sent to Tonbridge School, whence he got 
a scholarship at St. John's College, Oxford. He became a 
Fellow of his College, and from his striking appearance was 
well known in the University as the ' Handsome Proctor.' It 
is a curious coincidence that by his marriage his descendants 
became entitled to hold and more than one of them did 
hold Fellowships at St. John's College, as Founder's kin. 

His sister Philadelphia went out to India in the adventurous 
manner often adopted by portionless girls in the early days 
of the English occupation, and married a friend of Warren 

We must now return to Elizabeth Weller and her brothers- 

X 2 


in-law. One of them, the husband of a Jane Austen, was 
Stephen Stringer of Triggs in the parish of Goudhurst. The 
Wellers and the Stringers, like the Austens, seem to have been 
families who were stepping from trade into the ownership of 
land ; Stephen Stringer was High Sheriff of Kent in 1708. Of 
the five daughters of Stephen and Jane Stringer, one, Mary, 
married her cousin John Austen, another, Hannah, married 
William Monke. The Monkes were people 
of property near Shoreham, distantly re- 
lated to George, Duke of Albemarle, 
and descended from the ancient family 
of Le Moine, of Powdridge in Devon- 
shire. It was therefore quite in the 


GU. a chew, between natural order of things that their daugh- 

three lions' heads erased 

ar - ter, Jane, should become the wife of 

the owner of Godmersham, Thomas Brodnax, afterwards 
Knight, whose acquaintance we have made in the last 
chapter. Mr. Knight was thus second cousin by marriage to 
George Austen, and he acknowledged his cousinship by pre- 
senting him to the rectory of Steventon in Hants, which he 
had inherited, as part of the Lewkenor property, from Mrs. 
Elizabeth Knight. His son was destined to be a still greater 
benefactor to one of his Steventon cousins. 

George Austen, to whom we have now returned, was 
evidently a fine specimen of the parson of the eighteenth 
century, a class of whom hard things have often been said. 
Striking and refined in appearance, cultured in his tastes, 
beneficent, and attentive to his clerical duties, he must have 





attracted regard and affection wherever he was known. Like 
many of his family he married with discretion. Cassandra 
Leigh, daughter of the Rector of Harpsden near Henley, and 
granddaughter of Theophilus Leigh of Adlestrop, was vigorous, 
lively, and shrewd. She had a large family and lived to an 
advanced age. Her husband not only educated his own sons 
at home, but also took pupils ; and with these to care for, 
and not infrequent guests, Cassandra's time must have been 
fully occupied. Hers, as we have seen, 1 was the deciding voice 
which sent their son Edward to pay that visit to the last Mr. 
and Mrs. Thomas Knight (the Mr. Thomas Knight whose 
father had settled the Austens at Steventon) which had such 
important results to the boy. But his adoption by his patrons 
must have been a gradual affair. They can only have been 
married a very short time when he first attracted their notice, 
and the idea of adopting a distant cousin as their heir would not 
arise till some time afterwards. 

Many years later Edward Austen's niece, Caroline Austen, 
wrote down her reminiscences of what her uncle Henry had 
told her in 1848 concerning his brother Edward's early life. 
Henry Austen could not remember the exact date of the 
invitation to his brother to go to Godmersham. Indeed, he 
evidently ante-dated it considerably in his own mind. But, 
his niece adds, ' he was very clear as to the purport of the 
discourse which he heard between his Father & Mother on 
the morning when they received a letter from Godmersham, 
begging that little Edward might spend his Holidays there. 


1 Chap. I, p. 9. 


(I suppose " Holidays " referred to those which my Grand- 
father's pupils had, and that his own boys were let off from 
much work at the same time.) 

' My grandfather was not disposed to consent to Mr. 
Knight's request. With the single eye of a Teacher, he looked 
only at one point, which was, that, if Edward went away to 
Godmersham for so many weeks he would get very much 
behind in the Latin Grammar. My grandmother seems to 
have used no arguments, and to have suggested no expecta- 
tions ; she merely said, " I think, my dear, you had better 
oblige your cousins, and let the child go " ; and so he went, 
and at the end of the Holidays he came back, as much Edward 
Austen as before. But after this, the Summer Holidays, at 
least, were spent Aith the Knights, he being still left to his 
Father's tuition. Uncle Henry could not say when it was 
announced in the family that one son was adopted elsewhere 
it was, in time, understood so to be ; and he supposed that 
his Parents and the Knights came to an early understanding 
on the subject. Edward Austen was more and more at God- 
mersham and less at Steventon, but I do not know when he 
was entirely transferred from his Father's house to some other 
place of education, and to Godmersham as a home, or whether 
he ever did go to any sort of school, before he was finished off 
in Germany.' This ' finishing-off in Germany ' seems to have 
taken the place of a university education ; and it certainly 
included a year spent at Dresden, where he was kindly received 
at the Saxon Court. Indeed, many years afterwards, when his 
two eldest sons had spent some time in that city, and had, 


r j-if'in LL mijUJiturt t-u 


like their father, received marks of attention from the Royal 
family, there was a pleasant exchange of letters and presents 
between Prince Maximilian of Saxony and ' Edward Knight, 
ci-devant Austen.' The educational tour was afterwards 
extended to Rome. After his return he was no doubt more 
completely under the protection of his kind friends at God- 
mersham, and accepted as their eventual heir ; and it was 
under their auspices that he married in 1791 Elizabeth, daughter 
of Sir Brook Bridges, and was settled in a house called Rowling, 
belonging to the Bridges family and situated near Goodnestone. 
The lovely features of Mrs. Edward yiisten have been pre- 
served to the family in a beautiful miniature by Cosway, 
reproduced on the opposite page ; while facing page 160 
appears a miniature of her husband, taken in his old age. 

The death of Mr. Thomas Knight in 1794 put Edward 
Austen at once in a more prominent position and opened the 
prospect of a further advancement. The whole of the estates, 
both in Kent and Hants, subject to the 
life interest of Mrs. Knight, were devised 
to him. In 1799 Mrs. Knight, in a spirit 
of rare generosity, resigned everything to 
him, reserving only to herself an annuity 
of 2000, and retired to a house in Canter- 


bury. She continued to bestow on him vert a bend iozen gy 

or, in base a cinquefoil 

the interest and affection of a mother. She ar - a canton s u - 
survived his own wife, who died at the birth of her 
eleventh child in 1808. Mrs. Knight lived on till 1812, 
and it was not till after her death that Edward Austen 



took the name of Knight. In 1801 he had served as 
High Sheriff of Kent, and he continued for nearly half a 
century to take an active part in local county business, though 
he shrank from entering on a political career, and consistently 
declined any suggestion that he should offer himself as a 
candidate for Parliament ; nor did he encourage any political 
ambitions that his sons may have entertained. 

The other members of George Austen's family must now 
occupy our attention. His eldest son James, Rector of 
Steventon after his father, was of a more literary and less 
practical cast than Edward. Their mother thus describes 
them in a letter written to her sister-in-law, Mrs. Leigh Perrot 
of Scarlets, Berks., in 1820, after the death of James. Edward, 
she says, ' has a most active mind, a clear head, and a sound 
judgement ; he is a man of business. That my dear James 
was not. Classical knowledge, literary taste, and the power 
of elegant composition he possessed in the highest degree ; to 
these Mr. Knight makes no pretensions. Both equally good, 
amiable and sweet-tempered.' We may add that James's 
only son, James Edward (who became James Edward Austen 
Leigh on succeeding to the property of his great-uncle, Mr. 
Leigh Perrot) inherited his father's literary tastes, and had a 
long and honourable career in the service of the church, 
besides being the biographer of his aunt Jane. Henry, 
successively soldier, banker, and clergyman, was apparently 
the most brilliant, though the least successful of the brothers. 
Frank and Charles were sailors Frank self-contained, 
self-respecting, dignified, and devout ; Charles expansive, 



affectionate, and eminently loveable ; ' our own particular 
little brother,' as his sister Jane calls him. They both rose to 
be Admirals the former to be Admiral of the Fleet ; though 
he lost his best chance of fame from the accident of his ship 
having put in for water at Gibraltar at the actual time when 
Trafalgar was being fought. 1 Cassandra, the elder sister, was 
both clever and sensible, and became a real power in the 
family. She lived to be an old lady, and, living at Chawton, 
was thrown principally with her brother Edward's children, 
on whom she bestowed the most constant affection. Cassandra 
was called after her mother, who had an only sister, Jane. 
Nearly three years after Cassandra's birth Mrs. Austen had 
the opportunity of giving the name of Jane to a newly born 
second daughter. She can little have imagined how familiar 
the name ' Jane Austen ' was to become in the course of the 
next century. Her father in a letter to a relation announces 
the arrival of another girl, who is to be called ' Jennie/ and 
who will be, he thinks, ' a present plaything for her sister Cassey 
and a future companion.' This prophecy was fully borne out 
in the life-long attachment of the two sisters : but Cassandra 
is by no means the only person to whom the author of ' Pride and 
Prejudice ' has proved to be a loved and honoured companion. 
A very pleasant allusion to the family may be found in a 
paper contributed to the National Review (April 1907) by the 
Hon. Agnes Leigh and headed ' An Old Family History.' It 
consists of extracts from a manuscript record put together by 
one of the Leigh family (a first cousin of Mrs. George Austen) 


1 Jane Austen's Sailor Brothers, by J. H. and E. C. Hubback. 



in 1788. Cassandra, she says, ' wife of the truly respectable 
Mr. Austen, has eight children James, George, 1 Edward, 
Henry, Francis, Charles, Cassandra, and Jane. With his sons 
(all promising to make a figure in life) Mr. Austen educates a 
few youths of chosen friends and acquaintances. When among 
this family, the liberal society, the simplicity, hospitality, 
and taste, which commonly prevail in different families among 
the delightful valleys of Switzerland ever recur to my memory.' 
Quiet and idyllic as this existence seems, the Austens 
touched the outside world at a sufficient number of points to 
enable the children to grow up with a greater knowledge of 
different phases of life than would usually be acquired in 
rectory houses at that date. George Austen's sister Phila- 
delphia, after the death of her husband, Dr. Hancock, returned 
to Europe but rather to Paris than to London. Her daughter 
Eliza was educated in Paris, went into French society, and 
married a Comte de Feuillide, who was guillotined in the 
French revolution. Eliza repaired to England when the 
troubles arose, and paid long visits to Steventon. ' She was 
a clever woman, and highly accomplished, after the French 
rather than the English mode,' who combined a somewhat 
restless love of society with a warm-hearted admiration for 
the family party at Steventon Rectory ; and it is evident that 
she took a leading part in the private theatricals which 
occasionally took place there. Eliza ended by marrying her 
cousin Henry. 3 


1 George was an invalid, who never appeared. 

" Memoir of Jane Austen (by J. E. Austen Leigh), and Lady Susan. 
Richard Bentley and Son, 1871. 


Another opening for varied society was provided by Mrs. 
Austen's brother, Mr. James Leigh Perrot, a rich and childless 
man who had a house at Bath as well as a place in Berkshire, 
and whose wife could easily introduce the girls to Bath coteries. 
Then two of the boys went to sea in a time of war, and must 
have kept the minds of the house party alive to the stirring 
events that were continually happening. It appears, also, that 
the usual English course of education for the two sexes was 
inverted in this family the boys were brought up at home 
and not sent to school, while the girls got a good deal of teaching 
elsewhere. While Jane was still a young girl she had passed 
a year at Oxford under masters, she had gone through a course 
of similar studies at Southampton (where she had a fever of 
which she nearly died), and had afterwards gone with her 
sister to a school at Reading. If the subjects of her books are 
strictly confined to one sort of society, it was self-control 
rather than ignorance which dictated the limitation. In this 
united family the special pairs of brothers and sisters, both 
as to personal likeness and attachment, seem to have been 
Edward and Cassandra, Henry and Jane : though one might 
have thought that the humour and love of fun which either 
possessed would have brought Edward and Jane specially 
near to each other. But Henry also had humour in his 
composition. ' His letter to me,' writes Jane, ' was most 
affectionate and kind as well as entertaining : there is no 
merit in him in that, he cannot help being amusing.' Henry 
indeed must have possessed an almost exasperating buoy- 
ancy and sanguineness of temperament and high animal 



spirits which no misfortunes could depress and no failures 

But no attachment of brother to sister could equal that 
which existed between Cassandra and Jane. 1 It was character- 
ised on the part of Jane by an almost deferential affection 
which never diminished in respectfulness as she grew older 
and more famous ; and on the part of Cassandra by an 
admiration entirely devoid of jealousy. Each opened her 
mind to the other in a manner very imperfectly appreciated 
by those who rely only on their published correspondence. 
Cassandra was so much impressed by the sacredness of this 
correspondence that she destroyed all the letters in which 
special emotion had been shown, and felt sure she had left 
only what no one would care to publish. We believe that 
some involuntary injustice has been done to Jane's character, 
even by her particular admirers, from their not having properly 
appreciated the imperfection of the record. 

We have also to remember that, apart from these letters, 
nearly all our reminiscences of her (valuable as they are to us) 
come from a nephew and nieces who belonged to a different 
generation, and were not, after all, likely to be the recipients 
of her most intimate confidences. One of these nieces, however, 
after describing her playfulness and fun, and adding that she 
never played with life's serious responsibilities, says, ' When 
grave, she was very grave ; I am not sure but that Aunt 


1 The paragraphs relating to Jane Austen are based partly on published 
books (especially the Memoir by the Rev. J. E. Austen Leigh and the 
Correspondence edited by Lord Brabourne) and partly on unpublished 
family records. 


Cassandra's disposition was not the more equally cheerful of 
the two.' There were depths in the quiet, self-contained 
nature of the author which were not easily fathomed ; and 
the idea that she was in any way deficient in emotional con- 
sciousness (though they would not have vised that phrase) 
would have been scouted by all her family as preposterous. 

But it is evident that Jane Austen deliberately suppressed 
a part of herself in her writings, in order to concentrate her 
whole force on the particular ends to which it was directed. 
For instance, it is the universal testimonj' of her nephews 
and nieces that she was especially well suited for intercourse 
with children. ' Aunt Jane was the general favourite with 
children, her ways with them being so playful. ' ' She seemed 
to love you, and you loved her naturally in return.' Yet 
the sentimental aspect of childhood, of which some of her 
successors have made so much, never appears in her books. 
Then again she had such a love for natural scenery that she 
would sometimes say that she thought it must form one of 
the delights of heaven ; but she seldom allowed herself to 
introduce descriptions of it into her books, although one or 
two pictures, such as the summer view from the terrace at 
Donwell, autumn in the hedgerows of Uppercross, the dancing 
sea at Portsmouth, and the varied beauties of Lyme, show 
what she might have made of it. Again, we cannot for a 
moment doubt that, as we have already said, hers was an 
emotional nature, capable of deep feeling. Yet she was 
determined that the humorous and the cheerful should 
prevail in her writings, the romantic only cropping up at 
intervals : although the closing scenes of ' Persuasion ' might 



have proved, had she lived, the introduction to a different 
province of fiction. 

In the year 1801 Mr. Austen resigned the care of the parish 
of Steventon to his son James his eventual successor in the 
benefice and retired with his wife and daughters to Bath, 
where no doubt many other retired clergymen congregated, 
and where they might from time to time see Mrs. Austen's 
brother, Mr. Leigh Perrot, and his wife. There Mr. Austen 
died in 1805, and in the next year his widow, with Cassandra 
and Jane, took up her quarters for a time at Southampton. 
In 1808 Edward Austen was able to offer a choice of homes to 
his mother and sisters, who had now been joined by their friend 
Miss Martha Lloyd, sister of Mrs. James Austen. The ladies 
chose the cottage at Chawton, which has been already men- 

' Everybody,' writes Jane Austen from Southampton, ' is 
very much concerned at our going away, and everybody is 
acquainted with Chawton and speaks of it as a remarkably 
pretty village, and everybody knows the house we describe, 
but nobody fixes on the right.' 

Mrs. Knight (now living at Canterbury) must have sug- 
gested an inference from the fact that the Rector of Chawton 
had no wife, for Jane proceeds : ' I am very much obliged to 
Mrs. Knight for such proof of the interest she takes in me, and 
she may depend upon it that I will marry Mr. Papillon, what- 
ever may be his reluctance, or my own ; I owe her much 
more than such a trifling sacrifice ! ' This idea must have 
survived as a family joke for some years. Much later she 
writes to a nephew : ' I am happy to tell you that Mr. Papillon 



will soon make his offer, probably next Monday, as he returns 
on Saturday. His intention can no longer be doubtful in the 
smallest degree, as he has secured the refusal of the house 
which Mrs. Baverstock at present occupies in Chawton, and 
is to vacate soon, which of course is intended for Mrs. 
Elizabeth Papillon ' ; this lady being the Rector's maiden 

Mr. Papillon, or anyone else, might well have been charmed 
by the appearance and bearing of a person who could be 
described, as Jane was by one of her nieces, in the following 
terms : ' the Figure tall and slight, but not drooping ; well- 
balanced, as was proved by her quick firm step. Her com- 
plexion of that rather rare sort which seems the peculiar 
property of light brunettes ; a mottled skin, not fair, but 
perfectly clear and healthy in hue ; the fine naturally curling 
hair, neither light nor dark ; the bright hazel eyes to match, 
and the rather small but well-shaped nose.' 

Edward was only an occasional resident at Chawton. 
Godmersham was his home by preference, and there his 
relations were always sure of a kind welcome. One year, 
however, when he was painting the house at Godmersham, 
he spent five months at Chawton, to the great pleasure of 
his mother and sisters. Jane writes to her brother Frank 
(July 1813) : ' We go on in the most comfortable way, very 
frequently dining together, and always meeting in some 
part of every day. Edward is very well, and enjoys himself 
as thoroughly as any Hampshire-born Austen can desire. 
Chawton is not thrown away on him.' L 


1 Jane Austen's Sailor Brothers. 


At Chawton the sisters were within reach of their brother 
James at Steventon, and Edward often lent the ' Great House,' 
as it was then called, to one or other of his sailor brothers. 
These, then, were the home and surroundings of Jane 
Austen, during the last and most fruitful period of her literary 
career. She had indeed, as readers of her biography know, 
entered on the career of authoress as a child ; she had in fact 
written more and read less in youth than her mature judgment 
could approve. In the early years of her womanhood she 
had composed at all events the first drafts of three of the six 
novels on which her fame rests ; and one of them, ' Northanger 
Abbey,' was complete enough to be sold to a publisher, who 
after all declined to publish. Then follow six or eight years 
of almost absolute silence. Shortly before the beginning of 
this period occurred, probably, the one romance of her life. 
We have it on the authority of her sister that about that time 
Jane met in the West of England a young man between whom 
and herself was formed a mutual bond of attachment, soon 
to be snapped asunder by his death. Perhaps this event, 
added to the disappointment about ' Northanger Abbey,' the 
death of her father, and the unsettlement of her home, are 
enough to account for her disuse of the pen. At all events she 
resumed its employment when she settled at Chawton, and 
never laid it down again until she was too weak to hold it. 

The ladies began their residence at the Cottage in July 
1809 ; and we are told that Jane occupied her first year 
there in preparing ' Sense and Sensibility ' and ' Pride and 
Prejudice ' for publication. Probably we must extend this 
work over a longer period, for she did not begin ' Mansfield 





Park' until February 1811. 'Sense and Sensibility' must 
have received almost its final polish by that time, for it was 
actually published in October 1811, while ' Pride and 
Prejudice ' did not follow until January 1813. It is pos- 
sible that this interval gave time for a more complete 
revision of the latter work, as its greater perfection and 

SEPT. 1813 

(Jane Austen's Letters, vol. ii. p. 158.) 

maturity would lead us to expect. By the time of its publica- 
tion the author was far advanced with ' Mansfield Park,' and 
' Emma ' followed in due course. 

The party of ladies at the Cottage lived, however, so 
retired a life, that it must have been principally in London with 
Henry, or at Godmersham with Edward, that Jane was able 



to add a mature observation of the varieties of human nature 
to her youthful studies in that direction at Bath and elsewhere. 
Something, however, she could do (like her own Elizabeth 
Bennett) in the narrow circle round her by noting the ever- 
changing dispositions of her neighbours ; and even if they 
proved uninteresting, she had at least the satisfaction of 
comparing them with the creations of her own imagination. 
' As soon as a whist party was formed/ she says, fresh from 
the composition of ' Mansfield Park,' ' I made my mother an 
excuse and came away, leaving just as many for their round 
table as there were at Mrs. Grant's. I wish they might be 
as agreeable a set.' She could always extract enjoyment 
and amusement from very quiet surroundings. ' To sit in 
idleness,' she says, ' over a good fire in a well-proportioned 
room is a luxurious sensation. Sometimes we talked and 
sometimes we were quite silent : I said two or three amusing 
things and Mr. H. made a few infamous puns.' 

In a letter written before she left Southampton, Jane, 
after contrasting her advanced age of thirty-three with her 
own girlhood, adds : ' I felt with thankfulness that I was 
quite as happy now as then.' On the whole, it is probable 
that the first six years of her residence at Chawton were 
as happy as any part of her life. She was among her 
own people, and in a comfortable, though modest, home ; 
she had the engrossing occupation of authorship, and the 
pleasure of a slowly growing fame. But the last year or two 
of her life were saddened by failing health and overclouded 
by family anxieties and disappointments. In March 1816 
the bankruptcy of her favourite brother Henry was 



announced. The failure of a bank at Alton which his London 
bank had supported contributed largely to this calamity. No 
personal extravagance was charged against him, but he had 
the mortification of feeling that he had embarrassed several 
of his nearest relations (who had been acting as his sureties) 
by his failure. Among others his brother Edward lost the 
large sum of 20,000. Nor was this Edward's only money 
trouble at the time. He had been threatened for two or three 
years with the loss of all his Hampshire property. Some 
informality in a disentailing deed executed in 1755 was alleged 
to have been discovered. The result would apparently have 
been that the instrument remained good as long as the 
Brodnax line (for they had executed it) survived, but that 
on their failing the heirs-at-law of Elizabeth Knight came in. 
Such heirs-at-law there were. They did not all want to 
assert their claim, but some of the Baverstocks and Hintons 
did so. The affair dragged on several years, and was finally 
compromised by Edward Knight paying the large sum of 
15,000. ' This it was, I believe,' writes a niece, about 
half a century later, ' that occasioned the great gap in 
Chawton Park Wood, visible for 30 years afterwards, and 
probably not filled up again even now.' 

The gradual shrinkage in the party of ladies at Chawton 
Cottage has already been mentioned. We need only add that 
after the death of Cassandra Austen in 1845 the Cottage was 
used for labourers' tenements, and that the main part of it 
has now for some years been occupied as a village club. 

Meanwhile, in 1826, the squire's eldest son, Edward (who 
had been High Sheriff of Hants in 1823), took up his residence 


Z 2 


at Chawton House, which has never again been without its 
regular occupants. 

The squire himself lived on at Godmersham until his death, 
which took place igth November 1852. He had been able to 
take his usual drive on the preceding day ; early in the morning 
of the igth he desired his servant to leave him, as he felt 
comfortable and should go to sleep. He seemed to be asleep 
when the servant returned, but it was the sleep of death. ' It 
strikes me/ wrote one of his relations soon afterwards, ' as a 
characteristic end of his prosperous and placid life, and he will 
certainly leave on the minds of all who knew him an image 
of Gentleness and quiet Cheerfulness of no ordinary degree.' 

He left a large family of sons and daughters, and many 
of his descendants are now living. His six sons were all 
educated at Winchester School. George, the second son, 
married, but died without issue. Henry was in the gth 
Lancers, was twice married, and left issue by both his wives. 
William was for many years Rector of Steventon, occupying 
there a new rectory house built to replace the house which 
had so long been the home of his grandfather and uncle. He 
married as his first wife Caroline Portal, and left issue by her. 
He married a second and a third time, but left no further issue. 
Charles, Rector of Chawton, never married, and John, who was 
in the Carabineers, married, but left no issue. 

Of the daughters, Fanny, the eldest, the devoted friend 
of her aunt Jane, was wife of Sir Edward Knatchbull, and 
mother of the first Lord Brabourne ; and Elizabeth, who 
married Mr. Rice of Danecourt, has left numerous descendants. 
So has Cassandra, who married Lord George Hill. 

We return to the eldest son, Edward, whom we have seen 





settled at Chawton. He married, first, in May 1826, Mary 
Dorothea, daughter of Sir Edward Knatchbull, Bart., who 
died in 1838 ; and secondly, in March 1840, Adela, daughter 
of John Portal, Esq., of Freefolk Priors, Hants, and he has 
left issue by both marriages. 


Mr. Knight's residence at Chawton, which began in 1826, 
lasted for the remainder of his life. He transferred his alle- 
giance from Kent to Hants, and never moved to Godmersham, 
finally severing his connexion with that place by selling the 
bulk of his property there in 1874. He took an active part in 
local and county business, and a deep interest in his Hampshire 
home ; improving the house by the addition of a billiard- 
room and more commodious offices. His portrait by Sir 



Francis Grant, given to his wife in 1864 by his friends and 
neighbours, is a proof of the estimation in which he was 
held, and an ocular demonstration of the handsome 
features which he inherited from his parents. Some of 
his principal characteristics are shown in the following 
sentences taken from a notice in the Hampshire Chronicle 
at the time of his death in 1879 : ' An intelligent and keen 
sportsman and an unrivalled horseman, he will long be re- 
membered by those who had the pleasure of following him 
when he hunted with the celebrated H. H. Hounds. He 
was the principal founder and President of the N.E. Hants 
Agricultural Association which owes its prosperity greatly to 
the active interest he took in its management. All who have 
attended the annual dinners of the Society must have re- 
marked the spontaneous heartiness with which the toast of 
his health was always met by the members, and how the 
song of " The Fine old English Gentleman " followed with 
singular appropriateness. His great courtesy, his dignified 
bearing, his invariable and hearty kindness and good temper 
and above all his remarkable uprightness and appreciation 
of honour, truth, and duty, secured him a position not often 
equalled in the respect and love of all who had the advantage 
of his acquaintance. Openhearted, hospitable, and generous, 
endowed with considerable abilities, and a good sense which 
seldom failed him, a staunch and loyal friend, unswerving 
in the support of whatever he believed to be right, and just, 
and incapable of anything that even savoured of meanness 
or deception he worthily discharged the duties of a country 

With his death we close this history. 




KNOW all present and to come That we John de S'- John have 
given granted and by this our present charter confirmed to Hugh 
Byne of Chautone four acres of arable land in Chautone one end 
of which extends towards Mund:hamesrude on the west and the 
other extends towards the common lands of the town of Chautone 
on the East and abuts on the highway by the Pass of Aultone 
towards the North and on the other side on the wood of Richard 
Pyngel towards the South To have hold and enclose the aforesaid 
four acres of land with the appurtenances of us and our heirs by 
the aforesaid Hugh Byne his heirs and assigns freely quietly well and 
in peace for ever the aforesaid Hugh Byne his heirs and assigns 
paying therefor to us and our heirs sixpence per annum payable 
at the four principal terms of the year in equal portions for all other 
services actions and demands And we the aforesaid John de S' 
John and our heirs will warrant acquit and for ever defend against 
all people the aforesaid four acres of land and appurtenances to 
the aforesaid Hugh Byne his heirs and assigns In witness whereof 
we have affixed our seal to this present charter Given at Halnakede 
. . . the Feast of S' Mathew the Apostle in the fourteenth year of 
the Reign of King Edward the son of King Edward These being 
witnesses, Robert de Tystede, Henry de Estone, William Gervays, 
William de Rutherfeld, Roger Dalron, William de Mundham, John 
atte Streyte, and many others. 



SCIANT present and to come That I Luke atte Oke of Chawton 
have given granted and by this my present CHARTER have confirmed 
to John Wyn of Cicester for a certain sum of money which he gave 
to me in hand my one messuage and ten acres of land with their 
appurtenances in the village of Chauton whereof the aforesaid 
messuage is situated between the messuage of Richard Tilye on 
the one part and the messuage of Cecilia Golleghe on the other 
part And one acre of land lies at Kacre between the land of Roger 
Dalron and certain land formerly of Mathew le Harpour And one 
half acre lies there in the same culture between the land of John 
atte Streyte and the land of Adam le Pye And one half acre lies 
at La Estforlonge between the land of Roger Dalron and Hugh 
Byene And one half acre in the same culture between the land of 
Richard Shepherd on either side And one half acre lies in the 
same culture between the land of Robert Andrew and abuts at 
one end on the meadow of Walter Faber of Chauton and one half 
acre lies at Holebrouke between the land of Richard Tilye and 
Roger Dalron And one acre of land lies at La Shottelonde between 
the land of Robert Pugeys and the land of Nicholas le Hackar and 
one half acre lies in the same culture between the land of Richard 
Shepherd and the land of Robert Andrew And one half acre in the 
same culture between the land of the Lord Rector of Chauton and 
the land of Nicholas le Hackar And one acre lies at la Merslade 
between (the land) of Richard Tilie and the land of Nicholas le 
Hackar And one half acre of land which is Forhalue lies next a 
certain culture of land of Roger Dalron And one half acre lies next 
Le Paas between the land of the Chaplain of the Chapel of Chauton 
and the land of John le Knyght And one half acre lies in La Dene 
between the land of Roger Dalron and the land of Walter Smith 
And one rood of land lies next Le Paas between the land formerly 
Mathew le Harpours And one rood lies at La Crockelonde between 
the land of the Lord Rector of Chauton and the land of Roger 
Dalron And one half acre lies in the same culture between the land 



of Richard Shepherd and the land of Hugh Byene And one acre 
lies next the close of the Lord Rector of Chauton between the land 
of Hugh Byene on either side To have and to hold the aforesaid 
messuage and ten acres of land with all their appurtenances together 
with all lands and tenements which in any manner may further 
fall to me or my heirs of the cheif lord of that fee to the aforesaid 
John Wyn and his heirs or assigns freely quietly and in peace 
justly in inheritance for ever the aforesaid John his heirs or assigns 
rendering and doing therefor annually to the cheif lord for that 
fee the rents and services thereof due and accustomed And I the 
said Luke and my heirs or assigns will warrant acquit and securely 
defend for ever against all people the aforesaid messuage and ten 
acres of land with all their appurtenances together with all the 
lands and tenements which may or ought in any wise further fall 
to me or my heirs by the aforesaid rents and services to be paid 
and done to the chief lord of that fee 

IN WITNESS whereof I have confirmed this charter with the im- 
pression of my seal These being witnesses Thomas le Marays 
then Steward of Lord John de S' John, Roger Dalron, Hugh 
Byene, Walter Faber, John le Knyght, Robert Pugeys, Nicholas 
le Hackare, Richard Pyngel, Thomas Thurbirn of Basings Clerk 
Notary of this Charter, and many others Given at Chauton 
on the Sunday next after the feast of the Translation of S' 
Thomas the Martyr in the beginning of the seventeenth year of 
the Reign of King Edward son of King Edward. 


THE following are some of the ancient names of fields to be found 
in the Court Rolls and ancient charters, the majority of which 
cannot now be identified. 



Hobandrews (adjoining Chawton Cottage and Siblets). 




Arrow Croft. 

Hurlebatts, now Hulvers. 

Archers, now Orchards. 

Scatwinch Close. 

Northern Brooks, now Norton Brooks. 

Southern Brooks, now Sutton Brooks. 



Mundchamesrude (John de St. John to Hugh Byne, i4th Edw. II). 

Merschslade (isth Edw. III). 

Mulclhynch ,, 

Twyne Street Winstreet. 

Estfurlong (iyth Edw. II) Ashfurlong. 

La Holebrouke ,, Holebrook. 

La Merslade ,, ,, 

La Dene 

La Paas ,, 

The Pass of Aulton (22nd Edw. III). 

Andrewes Lane (28th Edw. III). 

Le Rigge (ist Edw. IV), The Ridge. 

Lamvalslond (5th Hen. V). 

Wheelers (Ct. Roll i2th April ; i6th Hen. VIII). 

Westfield (6th Edw. II). 


A. R. p. 

The acreage of the common fields was . . . . 309 o 32 

and of the Common . . . . . . . . . . 321 o 5 

The names and extent of the common fields were : 

South Field 83 2 28 

North Field 38 2 5 

Ridge Field . . . . . . . . . . 19 3 13 

White Down . . . . . . . . . . 33 3 23 

Winstreet .. .. .. .. .. 90 i 

Upper East Field . . . . . . . . 78 o n 

Lower East Field . . . . . . . . 46 o 31 

1 See Appendix IX. 



South Field included South Field and the plat ; Lower Yew 
Tree Piece ; the Glebe, Southfield ; about 14 acres of the Glebe 
meadow behind the Rectory adjoining South Field ; and the 
Stripp of Land containing 28^ acres adjoining the road called the 
Shrave from the way to Inbrook Wood to the end of Hatchgates 
except Beans Close 20,. zr. lop. 

North Field included the four North Fields from the Shrave to 
the Pace way or common except the upper part of middle North 
Field not including Peaseway or Paceway Close. 

Ridge Field was much the same as the present Ridge Field now 
divided by the new Meon Valley Line. 

White Down abutted on Ackender Wood, White Down Lane and 
the Road from Alton to Alresford. 

Winstreet lay between the two roads leading to the Butts or 
Robin Hood Butts, as they were then called. 

Upper East Field included Mingledown, Mounters East Field, 
and the other East Fields, and Great and Little Maslets. 

Lower East Field included old Brook Vere, Style Piece and 
Great Field. 



Instituted. Name. Vacated. 

William Wanbridge res'd 1289 
4 Oct. 1289 Thomas St. John 
1 6 Aug. 1315 Walter Champeneys 

27 Dec. 1333 Hugh Gylle died 1342 

20 April 1342 John Scharp res'd 1342 

16 Dec. 1342 Richard de Wystone 
18 Sept. 1343 Thomas de Saxlingham died 1346 
I Aug. 1346 John de Broughtone 

2 A 2 


Sir John St. John 

Sir John St. John 

Hugh St. John 

Sir William Trussel, 
guardian of Hugh 
St. John 

Thos. de Arpale 

Henry Moyne, on be- 
half of William 

5 Oct. 1351 






5 Oct. 1351 John Beel 

8 Sept. 1361 John de Eytone 

died 1372 

26 Sept. 1372 
14 June 1390 

13 July 1453 
5 July 1460 
23 Jan. 1466 
20 Aug. 1486 
20 May 1514 

Walter de Donwyche 
Henry Prout 
Thos. Alwyn 
John Hamonde 
William Preston 
John Elyot 
John Turpyn 
Richard Shelstone 

4 April 1532 Thomas Wemme 

li July 1551 John White 
20 April 1553 Wm. Darrell 
23 June 1554 Arthur Elmer 

Justinian Lancaster 

res'd 1453 
res'd 1460 
res'd 1466 
died 1486 
died 1514 
res'd 1532 

died 1551 

II Oct. 1574 
6 Sept. 1578 

Thomas Bylson 
John Lawrence 


Walter de Heyward 
and Henry Forester, 
R. of Eton. Proxies 
for John de St. 

Thos. de Aldingham, 
in right of his wife 
Margaret, dau. of 
Hugh St. John 

Sir Luke de Ponynges 

Sir Thos. Wortynge 

Godfrey Hylton 

ElinorSt. John, widow 

John Bonvyle 

John Bonvyle 

John Shelstone, in 
right of concession 
by Florence Fulford , 
dau. of John Bon- 

Sir Thos. West Ld 
La Warr and Eliza- 
beth his wife 

Henry Kingston de 
Chawton hac vice 
by assignment of 
Wm. Apsley of 
Poynings, exor. of 
John Lloyd the true 
Patron, in virtue of 
the assignment of 
the advowson by 
Thos. West Lord 
La Wan- 
Queen Elizabeth 
Collated by the 

21 June 1582 




Name. Vacated. 


21 June 1582 

John Constantino 

30 Nov. 1583 

Thomas Nevill 

John Tilborow died 1600 

17 Feb. 1 600-1 

John Barlow died 1601 

John Knight 

21 July 1601 

Nicholas Love 

John Knight 

Richard Mason 

John Knight 

23 March 1614 

John Blythman died 1634 

John Knight 

21 Nov. 1634 

James Sessions 

The King ' ratione 

lunacise Johan 

Knight ' 

23 Sept. 1662 

Henry Bradshaw 

Sir Richard Knight 

27 Sept. 1690 

Colwell Brickenden 

Christopher Knight 

14 May 1714 

William Lloyd 

William Knight 

24 Jan. 1718 

John Baker 

William Knight 

15 June 1742 

Henry Haddon 

Thomas Knight 

28 March 1744 

John Hinton died 1802 

Thomas Knight 

i Oct. 1802 

John Rawston Papillon 

William Deedes and 


Lewis Cage, trustees 

of Edward Knight 

24 May 1837 

Charles Bridges Knight died 1867 

Edward Knight 

6 Feb. 1868 

Edward Bridges Knight res'd 1876 

Edward Knight 

24 July 1876 

Charles Edward Knight 

Edward Knight 



THE following is a complete record of the remaining inscriptions 
contained in Chawton Church, other than those described in the 
text. On the north wall of the Chancel are (i) a black and white 
marble tablet, inscribed as follows : 

Sacred to the Memory of 


Fifth son of Edward Knight 

of Godmersham Park, Kent 

and Chawton House, Hants. 

He was Rector of this Parish 

for 30 years, 
and died Oct. I3th, 1867, 

Aged 64. 

Deservedly beloved and deeply regretted 
by all who knew him. 

The Lord shall be unto thee 

an everlasting Light and thy 

God thy Glory. Is. 60. xix. 

(2) A brass within a black marble frame (engraved on it the 
arms impaling Pearson) inscribed : 


late Captain in the 6th Dragoon Guards, Carabineers, 

youngest son of Edward Knight of Godmersham 

Park Kent and Chawton House. Esq're 

Died January loth 1878 aged 69. 

Looking unto Jesus. 



On the north wall within the Altar rails is a monument to 
Elizabeth Knight with this inscription : 

In the Vault near this place 
ELI: KNIGHT WID. only daughter of Michael Martin 

of Ensom" in Oxfordsh. Gent, by Frances youngest 

daughter of Sir Christ. Lewknor of West Dean in Sussex 

Esq. She married to her first husband William 

Woodward of Fosters in Surry Esq re who died Oct r 

26th 1721 And to her second husband Bulstrode Peachey 

of Petworth in Sussex Esq re who died 14 Jan. 1735. 
They both took the name of Knight upon their marriage. 

On the south side of the Altar is a black and white marble 
monument with semi-recumbent effigy to Sir Richard Knight, dating 
from 1679, with the arms, crest and motto. The inscription is as 
follows : 

H. S. E. 

RICHARDUS KNIGHT Miles hujus Comitatus 
Vice-Prsefectus regius, Tribunus Peditum Equitum Capitaneus 
magnis illis muneribus egregie functus 

pluribus et majoribus idoneus 
Varios exterorum mores peregre proficiscendo perspexerat 

patrios ex animo probavit 

Omnis elegantiffi cultor eximius, idem omnis exemplar 
peritissimorum Artificum Altor et Fautor, 

maxime munificentia, Ingenio magis 
Cum Eruditis Consuetudinem cum Ingenuis Dignitatem, cum optimis 

Amicitiam instituit, ornavit, coluit 

No vis honoribus assignatusdecretse Provinciae gloriam ipse reportavit 
Tumultum et Invidiam aliis reliquit 

Ferventibusque jam turn Comitiis 

Spem Populi, Cleri desiderium, Optimatum Delicias 

Una secum abstulit An D ni MDCLXXIX. Mt. XL. 



Above the figures on this monument is this incription : 

H. S. E. 

de Ensham in Comitat. Oxon. 

Generosi Filius nee non 
Richardi Knight Militis hasres 

et Re et Virtute 
Majus quod merita vindicent 
Ejus dum apud vivos agebat 
Saepius prohibuit Verecundia 


Ob' Londini mens. Octob. die vigesimo secundo 
Anno Dom. MDCCII 
.<Etatis suae 

There is also a black marble slab on the floor in front ot 
the Altar. The arms are quarterly Martin and Lewkenor with a 
wyvern for the crest, thus inscribed : 

H. S. E. 


ob' mens. Octob. die 22 d 

AD. MDCCII aetat. 

Cujus fratris amicissimi 

pise memoriae 
Soror Dna Elizabetha Knight 

hoc saxum 

ob luctum ipsa prope saxum 
sacrum jubet 



On the south wall is a black and white marble tablet : 

In Memory ot 


second daughter of the late 

William Prowting, Esq., 

of this Parish 
She died Mar. i7th. 1848 

aged 65 

and was interred in the family Vault 
in the Church yard. 

The souls of the Righteous are in the hand of God. 

Wisdom. Ill chap, i verse. 

Next comes a brass : 

In Memory of 

who died Nov. 5th AD. 1835 a g e d 5 

and of 

ANN MARY his wife 

youngest daughter of 

William Prowting of this Parish Esquire 

Died Aug. 30th. 1858. aged 70 

also of their sons 


died January I3th. 1864 aged 43 


of Exeter College, Oxford, 
34 years Minor Canon of the Cathedral Church 

of Winchester. 
Died Nov'r 27th. 1873. aged 60 

R. I. P. 


2 B 


In Memory of 


Justice of the Peace & Deputy Lieutenant for this County 
who died June 24th. AD. 1821 aged 67 

and of 

ELIZABETH his wife 
who died Sept. 2nd. 1832. aged 80 

also of their sons 

WILLIAM died June igth. 1799 aged 14 

JOHN ROWLAND died June i4th. 1800 aged 9 

R. I. P. 

The family vault is at the south-east corner of the Churchyard. 
On the walls of the Vestry are two marble tablets, one in memory 
of Mrs. George Austen, the other of her daughter Cassandra Eliza- 
beth. Two of Mrs. Austen's children, viz. her eldest son James 
(Rector of Steventon after his father) and her younger daughter 
Jane (the novelist), had predeceased her. 
The inscriptions are as follows : 

In Memory of 

daughter of the late 

Reverend Thomas Leigh, 

Rector of Harpsden Oxfordshire, 

and relict of the late 
Reverend George Austen 
Rector of Steventon Hants, 
She died the i8th day of Jan'y 1827 

Aged 87 years. 

Leaving four sons 

and one daughter surviving, namely 

Edward Knight 

of Chawton House in this Parish 
Henry Thomas Austen 
Francis William Austen 



Charles John Austen 

Cassandra Elizabeth Austen 

who have inscribed this tablet 

to the Memory of 
an affectionate and beloved parent. 

In Memory of 


daughter of the late 

Reverend George Austen, 

Rector of Steventon 

in this County. 

Died 22nd. March 1845. Aged 72. 
Being justified by Faith we have peace with 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Rom. V. I. 

On the north wall of the aisle are two tablets to the Hinton 
family : 

In the Churchyard near this spot lie the 

remains of the 


During fifty eight years. Rector of this Parish who 

died Ap'l nth. 1802. aged 82. 
He passed his life amongst his flock in the discharge 

of every duty, 
exhibiting a singular and most exemplary pattern of 

the Christian Character. 

Near the same place are interred MARTHA his first wife 
only surviving child of the Reverend Edward Hinton 
Rector of Sheering in Essex who died July 1761 and 
JANE his second wife, daughter of Thomas Harrison 

of Alton who died Ap'l I5th. 1799. 

This tribute is to their memory inscribed by their 

affectionate children. 



In Memory of 

Vicar of Beeding in Sussex 

who died 3ist January 1841 aged 80 years 

and of JANE his wife daughter of the late 

Rev'd John Hinton M.A. Rector of this Parish 

She died 3ist December 1856 aged 85. 

Also of her Brother JOHN HINTON Esq 

who died 26th Ap'l 1846 at Otterbourne 

in this county aged 72 

Blessed are the dead, 

Which die in the Lord. 

Adjoining these two is a tablet in memory of the first wife of 
Edward Knight and their eldest son. This was formerly fixed 
against the Chancel wall, but was removed to its present position 
on the rebuilding of the Church after the fire. 

In the vault beneath are deposited the remains of 
MARY DOROTHEA wife of Edward Knight Esq., 

Of Chawton House, in this Parish, 
and eldest daughter of the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Knatchbull Bart 

of Mersham Hatch, in the county of Kent, 
She died in London, on the 22nd day of February, 1838 

In the 3ist year of her age. 

Leaving issue five sons & two daughters, 

Her afflicted husband caused this Tablet to be erected 

To record his irreparable loss, 

And in the hope that her children when they read these lines 
May call to mind and endeavour to imitate the virtues 

of a good and affectionate Mother. 
In the same sacred place are laid the remains of her eldest son 


who died at Tunbridge Wells on the igth day of May 1838 
Aged ii years. 

The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, 

Blessed be the name of the Lord. 



The monument to William Knight was removed to its present 
position from the Chancel when the Church was rebuilt in 1871. 
It formerly stood where the organ now is. 

Near this place 


Esq'r (the only son of Edward Woodward Esq're 

of Fosters in Surrey by Elizabeth the eldest 

Daughter & Coheir to Sir Christopher 

Lewkenor of West Dean Sussex) who 

assumed the name of Knight upon his 

Marriage to Elizabeth the only daughter 

of Michael Martin Gent: of Ensome in 
Oxfordshire (whose Mother was a Knight 
and heir to Sir Richard Knight of this place) 
by Frances the other Coheir to the s'd Sr. 

Christopher Lewkenor, whereby were 
united the several Estates of the Lewkenors, 
Knights, Woodwards & Martins. 

A Gentleman 

Dutiful to his God, True to his Country, Affectionate to his 
wife, sincere to his Friend, Charitable and obliging to all. He died 
Member of Parliament for Midhurst, Sussex, Oct'r 26, 1721. 
To his memory this monument was erected by his disconsolate 
Relict. A.D. 1723. 

In Memory of 

who died at Woolley Lodge, Berks. 

August 8th. 1861 aged 54 years 

He was the second son of Richard E. N. Lee Esq. by 
Elizabeth daughter of William Prowting Esq. of this Parish, 

and in 1844 on succeeding to the property of his relative 

John Jortin Esq of Nibley House in the County of Gloucester 

assumed by Royal Sign Manual the additional surname of Jortin. 

We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God, 

Acts. XIV. 22. 



To the Memory 



Captain in the yyth. Regiment, 

Fourth son of Edward Knight Esq., 

of Chawton House in ths Parish, 

and Mary Dorothea his wife 
Born in London Oct. i3th. 1836 

Educated at Harrow 

and the R. M. C. Sandhurst, 

he joined his Regiment in the Crimea, 

in November 1854 

and after distinguishing himself 

by his gallant conduct before the enemy 

on several occasions, 
and especially at the attack 

on the Rifle Pits 

on the night of the igth of Ap'l 1855 

He fell ill of fever shortly after 

the taking of Sebastopol 

on the 8th of September, 

and died in Camp on Oct. 2nd. 1855 

His many amiable qualities endeared him 

to the officers and men of his Regiment, 

and while the premature close of a life, 

so full of promise, 
cannot but cause deep sorrow 

to his Family, 

Yet are they able to resign him, 

to the will of that Lord in whom, 

as they humbly believe, he fell asleep. 

He is numbered among the children of God, 
And his lot is among the Saints. 

Wis. CV. v. 5. 



In Memory of 

HERBERT LEWKENOR born at Chawton, Sept. 26th. 1873, 
Died at Khairwarra, Rajpootana, Mar. igth. 1874 

Also of 
DARYL COLBORNE born at Lucknow Jan. 25th. 1872 

Died at Odeypore. May 3oth. 1874 
Infant sons of Major Bradford and Elizabeth Adela 
his wife, dau. of Edward Knight of Chawton House. 

The Lord hath need of them. 

To the Glory of God 
and in Memory of his faithful Servants 

who died Sept. 2oth. 1883, aged 49 

and of 

ANNE MARY his wife 

only daughter of Captain Benjamin Clement R.N. 
who died February 22nd. 1893. Aged 69. 

R. I. P. 

This brass is erected in memory by their neice, 
Lilias Edith Clement. 

To the Glory of God 

and in loving Memory of 


youngest son of Captain Benjamin Clement, R.N. 

who died January I3th. 1864 aged 43 

and of 

his only daughter, 
who died Feb'y 2nd. 1895 aged 35. 

R. I. P. 



Probate of the Will of JOHN KNIGHT THE ELDER. 

Prerogative Court of Canterbury 
John Knight, Reg : 

Sen r Chawnay fo. 48. 

IN the Name of God Amen, the xxviiith daye of September In 
the yere of O r Lorde God a thousande five hundred fiftie and nine. 

I John Knyght Sen r of the Parrish of Chawton in the Countie 
of South: and within the dioc s of Winchester being hole of mynde 
and of good and perfecte remembrance albeit weake and sicke in 
bodie, lawde and prayse be unto Allmightie God Do constitute and 
ordayne this my present Testament contayning herein my last will 
and mynde in maner and forme followinge, that is to say, First and 
principallie I cofhend and bequeath my soule to Allmighty Jesu 
my maker and redemer in whome and by the merrite of whose 
blessed passion is all my whole truste of there remission and forgive- 
ness of all my sinnes and my bodie to be buried in my parrish 
Church of Chawton aforsayed Item I give and bequeath to the 
Mother Church of Saynte Trynyte in Winchester xiiflf. Item I give 
and bequeath to the Highe Alter of my pishe Church for my oblacons 
and tithes necligentlie forgotten or withdrawne in discharge of my 
conscience xiid. Item I give and bequeath toward the reparacons 
of my parrishe Church xxs. Item I give and bequeath to John 
Knight my brother Richard Knight's son xxs. Item I give and 
bequeath to Davie Knight my kinsman vi shepe. Item I give and 
bequeath to the reste of my brother Richard's children everie one 
of them \id. a piece Item I give and bequeath to everie Godchilde 
that I have vid. a piece Item I give and bequeath to everie 
servante that I have in my howse xiid . a piece Item I bequeath 
to everie poore householder in Chawton aforesayed xiid. Item 
I give and bequeath to Jone my wife xx" of myn owne propper goods 
and her owne apparell that she hathe and her owne goods that she 
brought to me which is exprest in an Inventory. Item if my wiffe 
be with childe I will and give it xx" to be payed if it be a woman 



childe at the day of her marriage or at the age of xxiii yeres, if it be 
a manchild to be delivered at thage of xxi yeres and if it fortune 
to departe the worlde and not lyve untill it be come to the age 
aforesaide Then I will that the said xx" shall remayne unto Harry 
Knighte my sonne. The residue of all my goods and lands tene- 
ments wastes pastures medowes grounds woods commons rents 
reversions and service withall and singular the appurtenances 
which I the sayed John have sett lyinge and beinge within the 
parish of Chawton or ellswhere within the Countie of South: with 
all my goods moveable and immoveable not given nor bequeathed 
my debts payed and my legaces fulfilled I give it all frelie to Harry 
Knyght my sonne whome I ordayne and make to be my full and 
hole executor And he to see my debts payed and my legacies ful- 
filled Item I ordaine and make to be my Overseers of this my 
laste Will and Testament Sir Thomas White whome for his oversight 
and counsell towards my sonne I give XLS. with John Knight my 
brother and Lawrence Mathew and they to have for theire labore 
and paynestakinge xxs. 

I bequeath to the mending of the highe waye xs. 

Proved at London 19 Oct. 1559 by Henry Knight, Executor. 

Will proved 8th February 1583. P.C. Canterbury. 

Nicholas Knighte of Chawton. Co: Southampton. 

To the parish Church of Chawton 2os. To the poor of the same 
parish 2os. To Mr. Hunt IDS. To the poore people within the 
parish of Alton 205. 

To my son Nicholas Knight & his heirs one yearly rent of 10 
to be taken out of my manor of Lymester in Co: of Sussex to be paid 
Michaelmas & Lady Day first payment on which shall first happen 
after the said Nicholas shall come to 24 years. 

To the said Nicholas if he shall come to 25 years 100 within 
20 days after. 

To my son Stephen & his heirs one yearly rent of 10 out of my 
manor of Lymester on the same conditions & 100 also. 



To my son Henry Knight and his heirs one yearly rent of 10 
out of the Manor of Lymester on the same conditions & 100 also. 

To my daughter Jane 200 at 19 years within 20 days if married, 
or at the day of her marriage or at 24 years, which first shall 
happen. To the said Jane 20 towards her wedding apparel. 

To my daughter Mawde 200 on the same conditions. To the 
said Mawde 20 towards her wedding apparel. 

To my daughter Elizabeth 200 on the same conditions. To 
the said Elizabeth 20 towards her wedding apparel. 

To my daughter Ann 200 on the same conditions. To the 
said Ann 20 towards her wedding apparel. 

My said daughters shall follow the counsel and advice of Thomas 
Henslowe & John Mersham Gentlemen in their marriages otherwise 
the said legacies shall not be paid until they have accomplished 
the several ages of 30 years. 

If any of my said sons part with the said yearly rents before 
they come to their several ages of 24 years then the gift is to be 

If any controversy prevents my sons from receiving their 
annuities out of the Manor of Lymester then they shall have them 
out of my Manor of Chawton Co: Southampton. To the said 
Stephen my son and his heirs the tenement and lands which Emerye 
Stronges holdeth of me in Lymester aforesaid the said Stephen to 
enter when he cometh 24 years. 

To Henry Knighte and his heirs the tenement & land which 
John Alderslade doth dwell in and one house in Alton which one 
Jeffrey dwelleth in and two shops near unto the said house. 

If the said gifts and lands & tenements be not good unto the 
said Stephen and Henry, then each of them to have 10 more yearly 
out of the said Manor of Lymester. If my wife be with manchild 
he shall have 20 yearly payable out of the said Manor of Lymester, 
if a woman child such portion as to the rest of my daughters I have 
given. My will is that my said sons Nicholas, Stephen and Henry 
shall be brought up in learning at the cost of my Executors until 
such time as they shall accomplish 24 years. 



My mind is that my said daughters shall be brought up con- 
veniently and orderly at the cost of my Executors until such time 
as they shall accomplish 19 years if married, if otherwise then until 
24 years if in the meantime they do not marry. 

I give and bequeath to my father & mother, or to either of them 
one old Royall willing and charging my Executors that they shall 
be very well used. 

To my sister Thomasine Okeshott 40 shillings. 

Unto every one of my servants 35. qd. Unto every one of my 
God children izA. Unto the poor people of Anstie & Halliborne 
6s. U. 

And whereas I have demised and letten my Manor of Chawton 
Co: Southampton, the Rectory or parsonage of Barham Co: Sussex, 
all my lands & tenements in Chichester in said Co: the Manor of 
Todham Co: Sussex ; and all my lands in Alton Co: Southampton 
unto Thomas Henslowe of Borehunt Co: Southampton Gentleman 
for divers years yet enduring paying such yearly rents as have been 
mentioned, my will is that the said Thomas Henslowe shall receive 
the rents thereof & make a just account unto John Knighte my 
son and heir when he shall come to 24 years that my said heir 
shall therewith pay my debts & legacies & portions if the residue 
of my goods left to my Executors shall not suffice. 

And whereas also I have demised and letten unto John Mersham 
all my said Manor of Lymester Co: Sussex for divers years yet 
enduring paying therefor yearly 20 the said John Mersham shall 
receive the rents to the intent he shall pay unto the Queen's Majesty 
for a 3rd part of the said Manor during the minority of the said John 
Knight and afterwards yield an account to my said heir. 

My will is if Thomas Tompson and Avise his wife do make 
a whole release unto my said heir within \ of a year after my decease 
of such lands as were John Standens late of Lavant Co: Sussex 
deceased & now in possession of me or my tenant then Avise my 
daughter shall have 100 to be paid within 2 years after my decease. 

I give to Thomas Henslowe one balde colte, unto John Mersham 
405. The residue of all my goods unto my son John Knight & 



Elizabeth my wife whom I make executors & the said Thomas 
Henslow & John Mersham Overseers. 

In witness I have set my hand and seal the IX of October in 
the reign of our Lady Elizabeth 25. 

Witnesses John Mersham Gent. William Hunch, Clerk & 
Thomas Newman. 

Memorandum : I appoint William Knight of Farringdon and 
Robert Locke of Bensteede as two other overseers and to each of 
them 405. this VII day of January, 26 Elizabeth. 



Two coats of arms seem to have been borne by the family of Knight 
in the sixteenth century, viz. (i) per chevron argent and sable three 
cinquefoils counter changed ; (2) vert a bend lozengy or. 

A manuscript at the College of Arms of the time of Henry VIII 
gives the first coat as the arms of Knight of Calais. The second 
coat was borne by Knight Norroy, King of Arms, who died 1593, 
and by Knight Chester Herald, who died 1618. 

At the Visitation of London made in 1634 a pedigree of Knight 
was recorded with arms of the second coat, and these arms appear 
to have been granted by Sir William Segar, Garter, to Arthur Knight 
and Stephen Knight, both of London, gentlemen, sons of John 
Knight of Kelvedon, Co. Essex, and grandsons of William Knight 
of Calais. 

After the Restoration there is a grant of a Royal Augmentation 
by Sir Edward Walker in which the arms of Knight are the two 
coats of the lozenges and cinquefoils quarterly with a St. George's 
Cross on an escutcheon of pretence, which coat Guillim gives as 
the bearing of John Knight of Durham Yard in the parish of St. 
Martin in the Fields, principal chirurgeon to his Majesty King 
Charles the Second. John Knight, who was the first of the Chawton 
family to bear arms, sealed his letters with the bend lozengy. 




His nephew Richard gave a silver flagon to the Church engraved 
with the same arms. His great-nephew Sir Richard had his arms 
blazoned on a panel still hanging in the Hall at Chawton, quartering 
the lozenges and cinquefoils with the Reynolds arms on an escut- 
cheon of pretence ; but on his monument in the Church, as also 
on that of William Woodward Knight, the three cinquefoils are 
omitted, and only the bend lozengy appears for Knight. What 
connexion there was between the Chawton family and William 
Knight of Calais, the two Heralds, and King Charles the Second's 
principal chirurgeon, we are unable to trace. 

The bend lozengy coat suffered the first less of its original 
simplicity in 1738 when, on Thomas May's change of name under 
Mrs. Elizabeth Knight's will, a difference was made by the College 
of Arms and a cinquefoil argent was introduced in base. 

A second change was made in 1812, when the arms were exem- 
plified to Edward Austen on his change of name to Knight as vert 
a bend lozengy or in base a cinquefoil argent and (for distinction) 
a Canton gules. 

The crest as granted by Sir William Segar is thus described : 
' A demi Hermert or Fryar vested and hooded ar. having an upper 
mantle or and holding in his right hand a Lanterne or pourfiled 
or and in his left a Paternoster Gules y e Crucifix pendant at the end.' 

This is very much the crest on Sir Richard Knight's monument, 
except that the Paternoster has lost the final crucifix. 

In 1738, on the succession of the Brodnaxes, a change was made 
the lantern which had given light to the ' Night ' was replaced by 
a cinquefoil taken from the Brodnax coat of arms, and the crest 
became a demi gray friar proper holding in his dexter hand a cinque- 
foil slipped ar. from the sinister wrist a bracelet of beads pendant 

A further change was made in 1812, when the breast was charged 
with a rose gules to mark the Austen connexion and the bracelet 
of beads is called a rosary. 

The motto since 1679 has been 

Suivant St. Pierre. 



' IN the Name of God Amen. I John Knight of Chawton in the 
County of South'ton Esquire, doe make and ordeine this my last 
will and testament,' &c. 

After giving for ever for the relief of the poor in Chawton- 
Warnford and Alton a yearly rent of Six Pounds out of Amery Farm, 
' Item I give to my Brother Sir Thomas Neale, Knight a piece of 
plate of the value of tenne Pounds and the like to my sister his 
Ladie. Item to my kinswoman the Ladie Anne Brooke, the wife of 
Sir John Brooke, Knight, the Silver Tankard given me by my sister 
the Ladie Elizabeth Neale deceased. Item to my Brother Sir 
Francis Neale Kt. a piece of plate of the value of Six Pounds thirteen 
shillings and fourpence. Item to my Sister his Ladie, the like. 
To my kinswoman the Ladie Anne Brooke wife of Sir Thomas 
Brooke Kt. a piece of plate of the value of Six Pounds thirteen 
shillings and fourpence. To my kinswoman the Ladie Frances 
Cave the wife of Sir Thomas Cave Kt. a piece of plate of the value 
of Six Pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence. The like to my 
kinswoman Mrs. Mary Fisher the wife of Paine Fisher Esquire 
and to my kinswoman Mrs. Elizabeth Neale the daughter of the said 
Sir Thomas Neale. Item I give to my Sister Jones to bestow in 
plate 20 and the like to my Sister Avise Knight. Item to Mr. 
Doctor Cradocke a ring of 20 shillings. The like to Mr. Richard 
Mason the Minister of Chawton and also to Mr. Price the Minister 
of Warnford. Item to my kinsman Mr. Adryan Jugpen and Mr. 
William Jugpen to either of them 40 shillings. Item I give to every 
of the household Servants of my Brother Sir Thomas Neale that 
shall be dwelling and abiding with him at the time of my decease 
20 shillings. To my Servant John Bernard Tenne Pounds to my 
Servant Thomas Knight 6 135. ^d. I have promised that his 
wife shall have an estate during her life in the tenement his Mother 



now dwelleth in and holdeth of me in Chawton the which I will to 
be performed. To my Servant William Knight Five Pounds and 
the tenement in Chawton the which he now dwelleth in and was 
lately Robert Knight deceased for the terme of his life, the said 
William yielding and paying therefor yearly during his life the 
ancient and accustomed rent. I will that Thomas Buckland doe 
hould and enjoy all the land and tenements that are now in his 
tenure and occupation in Chawton as well copyholds as others 
during the space of one year next after my decease if he shall so 
long live without paying any rent or other consideration during 
that time. Item I give and bequeath to either of the two daughters 
of my Sister Dawtrey deceased and to every one of the children 
of my Sister Muschampe likewise deceased begotten by my Brother 
Mr. Christopher Muschampe her late husband also deceased the 
sum of fifty Pounds to be paid to every of the daughters when they 
shall attain to their several ages of 19 years if married, if unmarried 
to be paid to them when they shall attain to their several ages of 21 
and to be paid to the sonnes when they shall be 24 and in the 
meantime the said several sums of 50 to every of the said sonnes 
and daughters so given to be used and employed for their benefit 
and profit. If any of them should die before, his or her share to be 
divided among the rest.' He makes his Brother Stephen sole 
executor and residuary legatee. 

' Additions to the last will of me John Knight. I revoke 20 
of the legacie given in my will to my kinswoman Dawtrey, she 
that married with one Boyes. I think her name be Jane, for that 
I did give her a little before her marriage 22. So that my meaning 
is she shall have but 30. 

' My meaning is that not any of those that belong to the Paper 
Mill shall be reckoned any of the household Servants of Sir Thomas 
Neale. Item I give my diamond ring that is commonly tied to 
my purse strings to my Sister Ladie Mary Neale and my black 
enameld ring that I usually wear on my little finger to my Sister 
the Ladie Honor Neale. Item I give to my kinswoman Elizabeth 
Neale, my greate plaine gould ringe weighing between forty and 



fifty shillings and on which is written vizt. Mori mihi lucrum. Item 
I give to my Servant Emmanuel Seward 20, and to my Servant 
William Knight more than I have formerly given him 10.' 


' To the poor of Chawton 10. To my daughter Anne Knight 
600. To my daughter Dorothy Knight 500 when she comes of 
age. To my daughter Frances Knight 500 when she comes of age. 
Dorothy and Frances to receive 30 a year till they are of age. 
To my son Richard 600 when he comes of age. 20 yearly for 
his maintenance till he be 17. After that 30 yearly till he be 21. 
Also a messuage and tenement and Lands lying in Lymester.' 

His three daughters to have free ingress, egress and regress into 
the House ' wherein I usually did lodge in Lincoln's Inn Fields so 
long as my lease doth endure.' A furnished lodging chamber each 
until they shall otherwise dispose of themselves. 

He makes ' my brother Richard Turner and my Nephew Chris- 
topher Muschampe ' executors during the minority of his son John. 
After he has attained the age of 21 he is to be sole executor and 
residuary legatee. 

There is a codicil with a lot of additional legacies : 

'To Blithman Parson of Chawton 405. to buy him a ring. 

To my brother Jones 2os. for the like. 

To my Brother John Knight 205. for the like. 

To my brother Turner 405. 

To my nephew Christopher Muschampe 405. 

Also to buy him a Nagge 10. 

To my nephew William's daughter 5,' &c., &c. 


AN INVENTARY of the Goods & Chattells of Sr. Richard Knight 
late of Chawton in the County of Southton Knight dec'd. taken 
& apprised the 16 day of September Anno Dni 1679 by Mr. Thomas 
Townsend William Fisher Thomas Mathew & Edward Fisher. 



Imprimis his wearing Apparell & money in the 

In the Hall 

Item two long tables one round table three formes s. d. 
one sideboard two Andirons and a Back . . . . i o o 

In the Dyneing Roome 

Item two wooden tables two Stone tables & frames 
two dozen of turkey worke chaires one turky worke 
Carpett eight large pictures whereof fower in guilded 
frames & fower in black frames one paire of large 
brasse Andirons one paire of doggs firepan & tongs 
one large Lookeing glasse fower white worsted window 
Curtaines & Curtaine Rodds . . . . . . . . 10 o o 

In the passage from y e Hall to the Dyneing 


Item one stone table and frame three Mapps where- 
of one of the Manno r of Chawton and two stone 
heads on pillars . . . . . . . . . . . . i 10 o 

In the little chamber over y e Dyneing-roome 
Item one feather bedd & bedsted bolster & pillows 
a paire of blanketts & a redd rugg strip'd curtains 
Vallens & Hangings three wooden turned chaires 
a small table & lookeing glasse a paire of iron doggs & 
tongs ! I0 o 

In the other Chamber over the Dineing roome 
Item fower stooles two elbowe chaires & a little 
table two Andirons with brasse nobbs . . . . o 5 o 

In the passage over the Dyneing roome staires 
Item three Spanish tables and a sideboard . . . . o 6 8 



In the little Chamb. at y e stake head there s. d. 

Item two feather beds one bolster one pillow one 
bedsted one table and frame and two chaires a paire 
of blankets and a browne Rugg . . . . . . 2 o o 

In the Grey Chamber 

Item one feather bed and Bedsted one bolster two 
pillows two blanketts one redd coverlet Curtains & 
double valens with silke fring a Counterpane & window 
Curtains of grogarin seaven chairs one stool lyned & 
one table Carpett of the same stuffe two tables & two 
stands a large lookeing glasse a paire of brass Andirons 
with broad heads a paire of iron doggs firepan & tongs 300 

In the purple Chamber over the Hall 
Item one feather bedd a bolster & pillowe a paire 
of blanketts a quilt Curtaines double Valens a Counter- 
pane three peeces of tapestry hangings five purple 
wrote chaires and three Stooles suiteable to the bedd 
two twisted iron doggs one small table white callicoe 
window curtaines & curtain Rodd . . . . . . 8 o o 

In the passage betwixt the two staire Cases 
Item one side board a Redd Stoole & a twisted 
wooden couch .. .. .. .. .. .. o 3 4 

In the passage at the parlo r stairecase head 
Item one chimed clock & case three pictures where- 
of one large & two small ones . . . . . . . . 5 o o 

In the Chamber over the Parlo r 
Item four peeces of Tapestry hangings four 
callicoe window curtaines two rodds a feather bed 
bolster a paire of blankets a quilt & moohaire Cur- 
taines & double Valens lyned with red Sasenett & a 
Counterpane of the same quilted & fringed six 
chaires suiteable to the Curtaines a table & a paire 
of Stands a paire of twisted andirons a paire of doggs 
a twisted fire pan & tongs and one other firepan . . 20 o o 



In the Closet by s. d. 

Item a table Bedsted a quilt a boulster a blankett 
and rugg o 10 o 

In the Chamber over the Buttery 
Item a feather bedd one boulster a paire of blankets 
a quilt a bedsted & Connlett furniture two great 
chaires six lowe chaires a Counterpane two paire of 
brasse doggs fire pan & tongs four calicoe window 
curtains & Rodds and a lowe table . . . . . . 10 o o 

In y e chamber over y e Kitchen 
Item one feather bedd two boulsters one pillow a 
paire of Blanketts @ green Rugg curtains & valens one 
large wainscott chest a large wainscott presse a 
Spanish table . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 10 o 

In the Chamber over the Wellhouse 
Item five pieces of Tapestry hangings one feather 
bedd one boulster one Counterpane four serge Cur- 
taines lyned two Turkey worke Carpetts one stand . . 5 o o 

In the Chamber over y e Larder 
Item two feather bedds one boulster a rugg with 
curtains and valens .. .. .. .. .. 2 o o 


Item six & twenty paire of Sheets whereof two 
paire are Holland fourteen paire flaxen and the rest 
are Canvasse .. .. .. .. .. .. 8 o o 

Item two table clothes and two dozen of napkins 
of Hollan Dyaper . . . . . . . . . - i 10 o 

Item nyne dozen & a halfe of napkins & two & 
twenty table clothes & sideboard clothes of ordinary 
Dyaper & seaven towells of the same . . . . . . 8 o o 

Item one dozen of course table clothes & five 
dozen & an half of course napkins . . . . . . 2 10 o 



Plate s. d 

Mem. Lady Knight own'd a sylver Tankard 
before Mrs. Brickenden on y e ist of May 1704. 

Item one large silver Bason four tumblers and 
Sugar box one pepper box one Mustard Box two 
porringers one hand candlestick a paire of table candle- 
sticks Ten spoons seaven forkes and one guilt Cawdle 
Cupp .. 23 3 4 

In the Garrett Chambs. 

Item fower bedds & bedstedles with the app'tences 
thereto belonging . . . . . . . . . . 2 13 4 

In the Garrett over the parlo r 
Item one feather bedd boulster a pare of blanketts 
a rugg Curtaines & valens one Chaire five stooles & a 
table a paire of Andirons fire pan & tongs . . . . 2 o o 

In the Parlo r Starecase 
Item four pictures .. .. .. .. .. o 4 o 

In the Parlo r 

Item one round table two side tables sixteen Cane 
Chaires one Cane Couch a Pendulum Watch & case 
fower Callicoe window curtaines & rodds & five pictures 
a pair of brasse Andirons fire pan & tongs . . . . 5 o o 

In the Gravell Garden 
Item two Statues with their pedestalls 
Item in other places abroad by the house three 

marble stone tables 

Item one brasse clock in y e passage from the Hall 

to the Kitchen 100 

In the Brewhouse 

Item one large copper Furnace and Meshing fatt 
two Tuns one Cooler five Kivers one long tubb and 
other small utensills .. .. .. .. .. 5 



In the Buttery s. d. 

Item one round table and frame one double Been 
& a napkin presse . . . . . . . . . . o 10 o 

In the owter Sellar 
Item three & twenty hogsheads & fower Stands . . 6 o o 

In the middle Sellar 

Item seaven hogsheads three Ale vessells & three 
stands .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2 o o 

In the Kitchen 


Item two dozen and fower pewter dishes seaven 
large plates al's Mazarins fower intermesses three pye 
plates three dozen & nyne trencher plates nyne 
candlesticks six chamber potts & Cesterne . . . . 5 o o 

Brasse & Iron 

Item five Kettles fower potts four skilletts fower 
sawcepans two candlesticks & two warming pans . . 5 o o 

Item fower spitts and Spitt-Jack two dripping pans 
one iron grate or rack three Cottrells two other racks 200 

In severall roomes in the House 
Item two needleworke carpetts one couch & a 
dozen of needle worke chairs all suiteable . . . . i 10 o 











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ALTON, Pass of, 14-16 

Arundel, Thomas, purchases manorial 
rights of Chawton in 1558, and sells 
them in 1578, 6, 76 

Austen, family, settled at Hors- 
monden in Kent, owning Broad- 
ford and Grovehurst houses, 152; 
account of children of John Austen 
and Elizabeth Weller, 153-155; 
marriage of Jane Austen to Stephen 
Stringer, 156 ; their grand-daughter 
Jane (Monke) married to Thomas 
Knight (I), 8, 156 

Austen, Frank, befriends his nephews, 
154 ; his descendants now own 
the family property, 152, 154 

Austen, William, fourth son of John 
Austen and Elizabeth Weller, 
marries Rebecca Walter (Hamp- 
son), 155 ; their children, George 
and Philadelphia (Hancock), 155 

Austen, (Rev.) George, Fellow of St. 
John's College, Oxford, and proctor, 
155 ; marries Cassandra Leigh, 
9, 157 ; Rector of Steventon, on 
presentation of Thomas Knight 
(I), 8, 156 ; his son Edward adopted 
by Thomas Knight (II), 8, 157, 158; 
dies at Bath, 166 

Austen, Cassandra, mutual affection 
of Cassandra and Jane, 10, 164 

Austen, Jane, birth, 161 ; education, 
partly away from home, 163 ; 
romance in the West, 168 ; aban- 
dons writing for some years, 168 ; 
settles at Chawton, and resumes 
writing, 10, 168 ; description of her 
appearance, 167 ; her books pub- 
lished, 168, 169 ; secluded life there, 
169 ; her letters to Cassandra mis- 
understood, 164 ; family troubles, 
illness, and death, 10, 170, 171 

Austen, (Rev.) James, succeeds his 
father at Steventon, 160, 166 ; his 
son (Rev.) James Edward Austen 
Leigh, 160 

Austen, Edward. See Knight, 
Edward (I) 

Austen, (Rev.) Henry, favourite 
brother of Jane, 160, 163 ; fails in 
business, 170; takes Orders, 160; 
his letter about Chawton Church, 61 

Austen, (Sir) Francis, Admiral of the 
Fleet, 160 

Austen, Charles, Admiral, 160 

BEAN, old family at Chawton, 32, 

Appendix I 

Bonville, family own Chawton, 4 
Bridges, Elizabeth. See Knight, 

Edward (I) 



Broadford. See Austen family. 

Brodnax, family, settled in Romney 
Marsh, fifteenth century, 139 ; pur- 
chase Godmersham from Astyns, 
139; take Parliamentary side in 
Civil War, 140; pardoned after 
Restoration, 141 ; one branch of 
family settle in Virginia, 141 ; 
intermarriage with Mays, 137, 142 ; 
Thomas Brodnax becomes May 
on succeeding to Rawmere, 142 ; 
becomes Knight on succeeding to 
Chawton, 8, 143. See also Knight, 
Thomas (I) 

CARPET of Arms, tapestry of coats 
of arms of families connected with 
Lewkenors, 1 46 

Charles I, report to, and letter from, 
on siege of Chichester, 99-114; 
brought through Chawton, 92 ; 
token commemorating his execu- 
tion, 93 

Chawton Park, wood in Chawton, 
13. For Chawton Church, Chaw- 
ton House, and Chawton Manor, 
see Church, House, Manor 

Chawton village, its position, with 
description, 8 

Chichester, defence of, 98 et seq. 

Church (see Chapter III), old picture 
of, 52 ; proposal to rebuild in 
seventeenth century, 55 ; pewed 
and repaired in 1733, 56; attempt 
to sell two bells in 1748 defeated, 
57; church re-modelled in 1838, 
60 ; further improvements, 63 ; 
church burnt down (except chancel) 
in 1871, 62; rebuilt, and re- 
opened, July 1872, 64 ; description 
of new church, 64 ; memorial 
windows and inscriptions in, 
as follows: Edward Knight (II), 
65 ; Adela, his second wife, 64 ; 
Rev. C. B. Knight, 64 ; E. E. C. 
Wellesley, 65 ; Emily Adeline 

and Marion Hardy, 65 ; Eliza- 
beth Adela, Lady Bradford, 66 ; 
her two infant children, 66 ; rood 
screen in memory of her son 
Montagu Edward, 67 ; organ 
screen in memory of William 
Brodnax Knight and Henry John 
Knight, sons of Edward Knight 
(II), 67 ; altar-piece, 68 ; candle- 
sticks, 68 ; cross in memory of 
Georgina Cassandra Knight, daugh- 
ter of Rector, 68 ; new bells in 
memory of I. B. Shaw Stewart, 69 ; 
sacramental plate, 69 ; further 
monuments, &c., Appendix IV 

Chute, Chaloner, (i) speaker of R. 
Cromwell's Parliament, 5 ; (2) 
author of ' The Vyne," 4 

Common and Common Fields, extent 
of, 16, 47; regulations for use, 33 
et seq. ; enclosure of, 47 et seq. ; 
plans, Appendix IX 

DE FEUILLIDE, Countess (Eliza 

Hancock), 162 
De Ports : Pedigree, 12 ; Hughde Port 

receives Chawton from William the 

Conqueror, 4 ; becomes a monk, 

73. See also St. Johns 
Domesday Book, account of Chawton 

in, 17-19 

EXTENT of the Manor of Chawton 
(Inquisitions post mortem), 22, 25, 

COUNTER, John, marries daughter 
of John Knight (II), 85 ; letter 
from him, 86 

Grovehurst. See Austen, family 

HANCOCK, Mrs. (Philadelphia Aus- 
ten), 155, 162 



Hicks, Baptist, mercer, &c., marries 
Elizabeth May, 134 ; becomes Vis- 
count Campden, 134 

House, mention of, in thirteenth cen- 
tury, 17, 23, 25 ; ground plans 1580 
and 1620, 80, 81 ; transformation 
by John Knight, 82-85 ' additions 
in nineteenth century, 173 

JAMES I, his speech on two gentle- 
men who challenged one another, 

KNATCHBULL, Catherine. See Knight, 
Thomas (II) 

Knatchbull. Mary Dorothea. See 
Knight, Edward (II) 

Knight, family pedigree, 72 ; rise 
of family, 5 ; William Knight 
rents Manor Farm, 6, 74 ; family 
become possessors of Chawton in 
sixteenth century, and own it in 
following order : 

Knight, John (I), ' the younger,' 
first leases and then buys Manor 
Farm, &c., 75 et seq. 

Knight, Nicholas, purchases manorial 
rights and advowson, 6, 77 ; marries 
Elizabeth Standen, 77 ; purchases 
Truncheants, 77 

Knight, John (II), principal builder 
of present house, 6, 78 ; evidently 
built on to old house, 6, 79 ; des- 
cription of his work on house, gar- 
den, and orchards, 82, 83 ; his wife 
(Mary Neale), daughter, and son-in- 
law, 85 ; friendship with Neales, 
85, 86; public duties, 6, 86; corre- 
spondence with brother Stephen, 
87, 90; care for nephew John, 
7, 87 ; his will, Appendix VII. See 
also House 

Knight, Stephen, succeeds his brother, 
90 ; High Sheriff, 90 ; his wife 
(Judith) and family, 91 ; his 
will, Appendix VII 

Knight, John (III), succeeds his 
father, 91 ; becomes insane, 7, 91 

Knight, Richard (I), succeeds his 
brother John, 7, 91 ; marries Eliza- 
beth Fielder and dies, 7, 91 

Knight, (Sir) Richard (II), succeeds 
his father when two years old, 7, 
91 ; minority all through Civil 
War, &c., 7 ; Charles I brought 
through village on his last jour- 
ney, 92 ; mother remarries, 92 ; 
selected for proposed new Order of 
Knighthood, 93 ; marries Priscilla 
Reynolds, 93 ; receives knight- 
hood, 7, 93 ; stands for Parliament 
and dies, 94 ; monument and 
inscription, 94 ; inventory, Appen- 
dix VIII ; end of male line of 
Knights, 7, 94 

Knight, Richard (III), succeeds his 
cousin, Sir R. Knight, 7, 123 ; dies 
an undergraduate at Oxford, 123. 
See also Martin 

Knight, Christopher, succeeds his 
brother Richard, and dies 1702, 
7, 124 ; his apothecary's bill, 124 

Knight, Elizabeth, succeeds her 
brother Christopher, 8, 124 ; de- 
scription of her character, and 
extracts from correspondence, 124 
et seq. ; marries (i) (her cousin) 
William Woodward, (2) Bulstrode 
Peachey, 8, 127, 128 ; leaves 
Chawton to Brodnaxes, 8, 129 

Knight, Thomas (I) (Thomas Brodnax), 
succeeds to Rawmere and becomes 
May, 142 ; succeeds to Chawton 
(from Elizabeth Knight) and be- 
comes Knight, 8, 143 ; only visits 
Chawton at intervals, 143 ; in favour 
of selling church bells, 5760; corre- 
spondence with steward on Hanover 
Rats, concealment of Mr. Bathurst, 
fear of invasion, &c.,i43 145 ; mar- 
ries Jane Monke, 8, 145; parts with 
Lewkenor and May places, 146 ; 
High Sheriff and M.P., 145 ; 



highly praised by Hasted, 146. 
See also Brodnax family : May 
family : Knight, Elizabeth 

Knight, Thomas (II), his character 
and love for Oxford, 147; M.P., 
marries Catherine Knatchbull, 148 ; 
pictures of him and wife by 
Romney, frontispiece, 149; ap- 
preciation by a friend, 148 ; adopts 
Edward Austen, and leaves property 
to him, 9, 159 

Knight, Edward (I) (Edward Austen), 
adopted by Mr. T. Knight (II), 9; 
travels abroad, 158-159 ; marries 
Elizabeth Bridges, 159 ; death of his 
wife, 159; settles mother and sisters 
at Chawton, 166 ; threatened claim 
on Hants property compromised, 
171 ; dies at Godmersham, 1852, 
172. See also Austen, (Rev.) 

Knight, Edward (II), succeeds his 
father, 173 ; lives at Chawton and 
sells Godmersham, 173; marries 
(i) Mary Dorothea Knatchbull, (2) 
Adela Portal, 173 ; portrait by 
Grant, 173 ; account of him in 
Hampshire Chronicle on his death, 
1879, 173 ; account of his brothers 
and sisters, 172 

LA WARR, Lord, owns Chawton, 4,22; 
letter of, respecting sale of land to 
John Knight, 75 

Leigh, Cassandra. See Austen, 
(Rev.) George 

Lewkenor, family, pedigree, 96 ; 
settled at Westdean, 97 ; monu- 
ment there, 97. See also Carpet 
of Arms 

Lewkenor, Christopher, marries 
Mary May, 115; attempts in 
vain to hold Chichester for Charles 
I, 98 ; report to King, 99 et seq. ; 
King's answer, 113 ; knighted, 
116 ; helps to defend Fort Charles, 

1 1 6 ; abroad, 117 ; daughters 
recover portions from Crown, one 
marries Woodward, one marries 
Martin, 117 

Lewkenor, Sir John, nephew of 
Christopher, marries Ann Mynne, 

117 ; correspondence on tests, 117 ; 
on James II and Fellows of 
Magdalen, 118; on birth of Prince, 
121 ; on flight of James II, 121 ; 
Sir John's son John dies without 
issue, and leaves property to \V. 
Woodward and Elizabeth Knight, 

MAGDALEN College, Oxford, Fellows 
of, withstand James II, 118 et seq. 

Manor (see Chapter II) given by 
William I to Hugh de Port,4, 17-19 ; 
account in Domesday Book, 17-19 
family take the name of St. John, 
19; medieval documents quoted, 
22, 24, 25, 26 ; ownership con- 
tinues in female line till sixteenth 
century, 20-22 ; Nicholas Knight 
purchases Manor, 76 ; account of 
demesne lands at that date, 46 ; 
account of Courts, 28 et seq. ; 
Enclosure Act, 1740-1741, 4750 

Martin, family, their home in Oxon, 
and coat of arms, 122-123 ; inter- 
marriage with Knights, 7, 122 ; 
Michael Martin saves Chawton 
woods, 123 ; marries Frances 
Lewkenor, 122 ; their three children 
own Chawton in succession, 123-124 

May, family, younger branch 
settle in Portugal, 133; return and 
acquire Rawmere, 133 ; influential 
positions in seventeenth century, 
133-138 ; failure of male heirs and 
descent of property to Brodnaxes, 
142. See also Hicks, Baptist : 
Knight, Thomas (I) : Lewkenor, 
Christopher. For Pashly branch 
see May, Thomas 



May, Anne, marries William Brodnax, 

137 ; their son inherits May 

property, 142 
May, Baptist, keeper of Privy Purse 

to Charles II, 138 
May, Hugh, architect, and friend of 

John Evelyn, 135 ; inspection of 

St. Paul's (old) Cathedral, 135 ; 

designs houses, 136, 137 ; miniature 

of him, 135 
May, Sir Humphrey, courtier and 

M.P. , Vice - chamberlain to 

Charles I, 133 
May, Sir Richard, Baron of Exchequer 

and Recorder of Chichester, 138 
May, Thomas, courtier and poet, 131 ; 

joins Parliamentary party and 

writes history, 132 ; praised by 

Lord Chatham, 132 ; buried in 

Westminster Abbey, 133 
Monke, Jane. See Knight, Thomas 

Morey, old family at Chawton, 

32, 42 ; Fishers succeed them, 39, 43 
Mynne, Ann. See Lewkenor, Sir 


NEALE, Mary. See Knight, John (II) 

ODA, Saxon occupier of Chawton, 
17, 73 

PEACHEY, Bulstrode, second husband 
of Elizabeth Knight, takes her 
name, 128 

Portal, Adela. See Knight, Edward 


Poynings, family own Chawton, 4 
Prowting, old family at Chawton, 

43 ; Clement family succeeds, 44 

REYNOLDS, Priscilla. 
(Sir) Richard (II) 

See Knight, 

ST. JOHN, family own Chawton, 4 
Sandys, family sell The Vyne, 5 
Standen, Elizabeth. See Knight, 

VANGERS, or Freethers, 35,36, 37, 40 
Vyne, The, history by Chaloner Chute, 

WALLER, Sir William, takes Chiches- 
ter, 99 et seq. ; facsimile of letter 
of, 112 

Weller, Elizabeth, See Austen, family 

Wests. See La Warr, Lord 

Wiltshire, Lord (Paulet), rents 
Chawton, 123 ; Charles, afterwards 
Duke of Bolton, born there, 123 

Woodward, William, son of Elizabeth 
Lewkenor, marries (his cousin) 
Elizabeth Knight and takes the 
name, 8, 127 ; much of Lewkenor 
property comes to them, 8, 127 ; 
High Sheriff of Surrey and 
Sussex (letter), 128 









Chawton Manor and